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Simple Way to Get Positive News Coverage

April 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

Getting media coverage is easy. Most communicators miss the opportunities for want of being able to identify them. They expect the media to devour boring press releases but the best opportunities present themselves when the journalist calls and asks for a comment or an interview.

Of course, there would be some topics to stay out of and do not weigh in on. That's understandable, but too often these are missed opportunities because first, whatever the journalist is calling for a comment on - especially when it's a contentious issue - will be widely read, and the brand the communicator's job it is to promote, will therefore also be widely read about and noted.

Some people are always in the media, are they not? That's because they are never afraid to comment. The people who get the most publicity are always accessible and willing to comment, whether it's on a tough topic or not.

That said, it is also very important to learn to identify the innocuous requests for interviews - the kind that could be clipped as positive media coverage.

Innocuous requests for a comment are pitched at business communicators all the time. Some of the ways to tell include:

1. The journalist's byline isn't usually seen in the first three pages of the newspaper for print, or in the top three stories for electronic media. The journalist whose byline can be seen only in weekly sections or segments are even better. They are not looking for bacchanal. They are looking for readers, listeners or viewers but do not need to step on anybody's corn to get them.

2. The topic sounds a bit abstract or out of the blue.

"Social media in the workplace? OK, what's so newsworthy about that? My press release about our new product is a lot more interesting."

The reporter with the "abstract" topic is planning a big feature story, and there is nothing to worry about. He is just looking for comments, for varying views, to show that he wrote a balanced report, and not 1,000 words of his personal opinion. Don't be a fool to miss this opportunity.

3. In requesting the interview, the reporter describes it as an "opportunity" or speaks about the company "looking good" or notes that it has been the centre of a lot of negative publicity recently and would like it seen in a "different light," or he wants to take a "different angle," or notes that the company hasn't had a chance to fully say its piece.

The possible phrases that indicate non-hostility are too numerous to mention here, but beware of paranoia or guilt leading to the misguided notion that all reporters are out to throw stones. Some, just to be different, will want to highlight the other side to a company. This means that if you are drowning in negative publicity, that "other side" would obviously be positive.

4. If possible, research the stories the reporter has done in the past. Is the reporter usually a shark, eating business communicators alive? There are fewer of those in journalism than most people imagine. Do his stories usually anger everyone? Of course, no self-respecting reporter will have a slew of articles that sound like they were written by a publicist, but from careful analysis of the articles, it can be deciphered if he has been pissing off all his interviewees or just some.

5. The journalist talks or writes as if he is doing you a favor by letting you be interviewed. He knows he isn't looking to make anybody look bad. So anyone he interviews stands to benefit from some good, free publicity.

Be on guard for the innocuous interview request. It could lead to great publicity.

Aleem Khan is the founder of

Source: EzineArticles
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