Todd Morgano | June 21, 2023
When your company gets great media coverage for an event, product launch, community sponsorship, or whatever it may be, your first impulse might be to send that story to another media outlet as a way of asking for similar coverage or alerting them to the news. It may seem intuitive, but it’s not the best way to go.
If that has you wondering how to get press coverage for your story, no worries. We’ll walk you through it.
At least 90% of the time when we pitch, we won’t share media coverage from one outlet with another. Just because one media outlet has covered a story is no guarantee that another outlet will. That’s not how to get news coverage for an event or anything else.
Sure, some may see coverage as validation of the newsworthiness of a story and follow suit. Others might take the opposite view thinking that, since it’s already been covered, it’s old news. Many reporters take pride in their profession and want to break news, not repeat stories other media have already published. And, if the coverage you are sharing pertains to their beat, chances are they’ve already seen it.
That said, there are a few exceptions when you may want to consider this tactic.
First, remember that the best relationships with the media are based on mutual respect. You want to get good media coverage for your company. That’s your job. But the media have a job to do, too. Success often comes by reaching out to media with legitimate, non-self-serving story ideas that will be of interest to their readers.
So, when considering sharing media coverage from another outlet, be mindful of your intent. Are you sending the coverage to be helpful? Are you providing additional information and background that might help the reporter better understand it and encourage them to explore whether they want to write about it? If so, there may be some merit to sending the coverage.
But if you are sending it to try to “prove” to the other outlet they should cover it (i.e., “If it’s good enough for this prominent national outlet, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?”), don’t do it. It’s insulting to insinuate to a reporter they have poor news judgment just because they pass on a story that another outlet found interesting.
In other words, as Mark Twain advised: “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”
While mainstream media aren’t the only ones buying the proverbial “ink by the barrel” in today’s world of blogs and citizen journalism, they still matter — a lot. They are an important vehicle to communicate with audiences you care about and antagonizing them is never a good idea.
If you are going to share media coverage from one outlet with another, it generally works best if they are non-competing. Here are a few examples.
In summary, whether to share media coverage from one outlet with another is a judgment call. If your intentions are good and your gut feeling says go for it, then do. But if you have ulterior motives, or if you suspect that the reporter may already be aware of the other coverage anyway, accept that they’re probably just not interested and move on.
Ready to refine your PR game and gain media attention? Contact Falls & Co. and let’s explore the possibilities.
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Todd Morgano is a senior vice president with Falls & Co. He leads a variety of integrated marketing initiatives and helps companies develop strategies to reach their customers and clients across multiple platforms and channels.