One of the most effective ways to secure media coverage is knowing what journalists are covering. The worst feeling is when you see an article in a paper or an interview on a morning show and you think to yourself, I could have been that expert, I wish I had known they were working on that story!
The good news is there are many great editorial contact services that can help:
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is one of the more commonly known services. By signing up you will get daily e-mail queries from reporters who need experts for specific stories. It’s a free service and has helped us secure placements in major publications such as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. You will receive A LOT of emails (I get three daily) and it takes time to go through each one, but it is separate by topic/beat which is helpful.
Muck Rack helps you decipher when journalists are looking for sources, what stories are being written and how you can get more press by telling you when a journalist is writing about your topics and competitors on social media. You’ll receive a daily email that will help you engage with over 20,000 journalists on the most relevant topics for you, your company, clients and campaigns. This is a fee based service, with plans ranging from $199 to $4495, but it includes a lot of benefits including email alerts, media lists, media searches, and the ability to send pitches directly through the site.
NASDAQ OMX’s MyMediaInfo platform is a great tool for PR pros. Similar to Vocus, but less expensive, the software allows users to identify media contacts, self publish press releases, monitor coverage, and stay up-to-date on editorial calendars. MyEdCals is the most comprehensive database of editorial calendar opportunities in the industry.
Founded by veteran journalists, NewsCertified provides the media with a searchable database of credible, interview-ready experts and story ideas. Experts need to become certified, which is based on the expert’s ability to demonstrate interview proficiency in television, radio and/or print. Be aware that NCE does turn away non-experts and experts who are not “interview-ready.” Also there is a price tag of $2500-$4000, but journalists from more than 250 news organizations tap into NCE’s database. These include Bloomberg, The New York Times, NBC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC,USA Today, Reuters, Fortune, Vanity Fair, AP and The Wall Street Journal.
Seek or Shout
Seek or Shout is a free service developed by Cision, the leading global provider of PR software and services. You can use the website to either seek content, sources, research and support for stories or shout to tell the community about your story. The community is made up of journalists, bloggers and PR pros. You can also put in tags (topics) that you want to follow.
All of the above are great options to help secure coverage. However, don’t forget about follow up. Journalists are busy and get hundreds of emails every day. Following up is excellent way to stay top-of-mind. Here is a past HJMT blog post on how to effectively follow up with the media.