Every marketer knows the dilemma—your company doesn’t have news to pitch, but you want more media coverage to keep your company top-of-mind.
No need to fret.
In this post, we’ll cover five things you can do to gain meaningful PR coverage even if you don’t have news to pitch or a new product to showcase.
1) Pitch Podcasts
Roughly 2 million active podcasts spanning almost every industry are published daily around the world. Popular science podcasts like Science Friday and NPR’s Hidden Brain garner millions of downloads per month. During a recent survey, 57% of US consumers said they listened to audio podcasts.
Most people who listen to podcasts do so on their commute, while exercising, or while working around the house, and are therefore more willing to hear people speak for upwards of an hour. This is significant given that users regularly skip over mere 10-second ads on platforms like YouTube.
Pitching industry podcasts and appearing on them can go a long way toward establishing awareness of your company’s message. Topic ideas you can pitch for these podcasts include:
- Industry predictions – As each year ends, people love to listen to industry experts talk about where they think the industry is going in the next year or next five years. An expert from your company can offer predictions in an interview for a relevant podcast.
- Timely insights – A thought leader from your company can also provide a unique perspective on a current hot topic in your industry.
- Origin stories – If the podcast has a focus on how companies in your industry started, pitch for the opportunity to share about your company’s early days and growth trajectory.
An important tip for pitching podcasts: hosts always appreciate a fresh take or a unique angle on a subject. We recommend listening to some of the episodes and looking at past guests to find topical gaps that need to be filled.
Once someone from your company gets interviewed on a mid-sized or large podcast, you can expect that other industry podcasts will reach out, further increasing coverage.
2) Provide A Contributed Byline
Contributed bylines are articles that are published on a website other than your company website. The right outside websites are usually accessed by your ideal customers.
Apart from placing you squarely in front of your ideal audience, a contributed byline:
- Establishes credibility and expertise in your industry. If the contributed byline is educational and adds value to the audience, individuals who have never heard of your company or offerings are likely to click through to learn what your company has to offer.
- Solidifies relationships with the publications for future engagement. This comes in handy when you finally do have news to pitch.
- Improves your SEO. Having multiple contributed bylines on authoritative websites, especially when those websites allow a link to your company site to be placed in the article, can greatly boost your website’s organic search ranking.
While most contributed bylines are not promotional, they provide companies with the opportunities to start conversations on topics that are relevant to your ideal audience. Doing this can bring awareness, and thus new customers into your business.
3) Use HelpAReporterOut (HARO)
When you read an article in a top-tier outlet and the opinion of a scientist or individual at a company is featured in the article, this didn’t happen by chance.
In many cases, the journalist who wrote the article found their expert by putting out a call for sources.
HelpAReporterOut is an online platform that connects journalists with sources for their stories. According to their website, there are 800,000 registered sources on HARO.
Signing up for HARO is free. Once you sign up, you will be able to select the industries for which you would like to get media coverage.
Up to three times a day, sources receive emails full of PR requests based on the industries you selected. Although scanning through 3 emails per day to find opportunities can be time-consuming, becoming a source for journalists on HARO is an excellent way to get free coverage in top-tier outlets like Mashable, Time,and The New York Times.
For local coverage, you might be able to find helpful leads via the US Newspaper Listing service.
4) Provide Expert Opinions on Television
Local television stations are constantly looking for credible sources to provide expert opinions.
While some TV stations might post to HARO to find sources, requests for sources will regularly be posted on a local television station’s website or social media channels. Setting a reminder to check these daily or weekly requests will help you send timely pitches that land your experts in these TV spots.
5) Create Content Optimized for Shareability
Creating shareable content that is optimized for search engines and/or social media is a long-term play, but it truly is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to discoverability.
While content creation and marketing are not direct PR tactics, they can boost your PR efforts in a few ways. For instance, if your article does well in organic search or on social media, news outlets may pick it up and share it. This makes it easier to pitch for a follow-up feature or interview with the outlet.
When you don’t have news to pitch to media outlets, this is the best time to build thought leadership in your industry. While getting PR coverage for news is helpful in getting that initial push for a product for instance, techniques like building thought leadership through podcast interviews and contributed bylines are long-term and go a long way to establish a company in the minds of their ideal customers. In addition to this, establishing the first contact with an outlet via any means provides the opportunity to build relationships with the outlet that can be leveraged later. Each of the methods above can allow your company to gain media coverage even if you have nothing new to pitch.