Val Mumby is joint managing director of Clareville, a well-established PR agency which works with a wide variety of brands across the consumer and B2B sectors.
The fundamental principle that clients and agencies must address if they want to gain editorial coverage in the media is relevance. That means understanding what the editor would regard as relevant and certainly of interest to the readers, then tailoring the content, its form and style to fit the style and structure of the publication.
So the first step is research: thoroughly examine the target medium, whether it is a print publication or online, then look at the news pages, features, columns, sections and identify where an idea might fit. Note what type of subjects make news or features and how specific they are. In a B2B trade sector such as the grocery industry, for example, news, data, research and case studies must be particularly related to that market to be relevant.
After developing an appropriate angle for the editorial, it must be written in an editorial style, with moderation not with the sales hyperbole that goes in to advertising, e-shots or brochures. The editor will only cut out the excessive adjectives and unsubstantiated claims. If it is news, such as a new product, it must be genuinely new – and the copy should make clear in the first two paragraphs what it is, what is new, what is beneficial to the readers and who is involved.
To maximise the chance of your comment or opinion being chosen for publication, try to be original – put forward an idea or view that few others will contribute.
Don’t forget the importance of social media profiles. The writer and readers may look up the commentator on LinkedIn or Facebook, so make sure that profiles are up to date.
When arranging an interview with a spokesperson, explain who the interviewee is and what he or she can say that is new, different, interesting and relevant.
The interviewee should then prepare for the interview by having a sheet with key points to make in front of them at the time.
The key to it all is research and preparation so you can make it easy for the editor to see that what you offer is relevant, interesting and easy for the editor to adapt for publication.
For further information, please contact Val Mumby or Emma Ward, Clareville
Tel: 020 7736 4022