Getting featured in the mainstream press is hands down the best way to share your message with a mass audience at little-to-no cost. Once upon a time, only publicists with access to expensive media databases could research and connect with the news gatekeepers.
However, now thanks to social media, health and wellness entrepreneurs like you can use these networks to find the journalists, producers, and editors you need to connect with to take the first steps to getting publicity for yourself and your brand.
Here are five steps to connect with your target media personalities using LinkedIn and Twitter:
1. Identify the media outlets you want to be featured on.
You’ve likely already defined your ideal customer avatar; now you’ll want to figure out what news sources they’re consuming so you can get featured in those specific media outlets. Ask your current clients what newspapers and magazines they’re reading, what websites and blogs they’re logging onto and what news and lifestyle TV shows and radio stations they’re tuning into.
2. Determine your key media contacts.
Armed with the knowledge of what media your customers are paying attention to, now you’ll know the shows, sites and publications you’re aiming to secure coverage with. Here are the general job titles of the contacts you’ll be looking for at different types of media outlets:
a. Magazines – health editor, fitness editor, fashion/beauty editor (in lieu of a health/fitness editor), senior editor
b. Newspapers – life editor, lifestyle editor
c. Television – segment producer
d. Radio – producer, associate producer
e. Blogs / Websites – blogger, online editor
3. Research your contacts on LinkedIn
As an example, let’s say now you want to pitch a story to get featured on the health section of SELF magazine’s digital arm, self.com. A quick LinkedIn search for ‘SELF health editor’ brings up Amy Marturana’s profile – health editor for self.com. One of the advantages of LinkedIn over those aforementioned fancy pants media databases is that they’re more likely to be up-to-date – media are quick to keep their networks informed of their latest place of employ! Tip: make sure your profile is in top notch condition, since the person you’re researching will be able to see that you’ve looked them up. Polish your profile with your latest awards, media coverage, and blog posts to position yourself as an expert!
4. Connect with contacts on Twitter.
While it’s not yet appropriate to connect with editors on LinkedIn, giving them a follow on Twitter is always a non-invasive way to stay on top of what stories they’re promoting, what kind of sources they’re looking for, and get a bit of insight into their personal lives.
5. Create a private Twitter list and engage with it daily.
I always advise people to create a private Twitter list of the media outlets and personalities that they’re aiming to connect way. This way you can do a quick check in everyday to retweet their latest content, comment on recent stories they’ve shared, and be a helpful resource when they’re looking for help with a story they’re working on.
Building media relationships is a strategic and genuine way to put yourself in a position for press coverage. In all aspects of our lives, we’re quicker to do things for our friends than we are for strangers. Once you get on the media’s radar and develop a rapport with them, you put yourself in a position to be their number one go-to when they need a health or wellness expert to feature in an upcoming story!
About the Author
Lisa Simone Richards is a publicity expert for fitness, health and wellness-preneurs who want to see themselves and their businesses featured in magazines, on TV and around the web. As the principal of PR agency Vitality PR & Communications in Toronto and the creator of Make Media Friends, an online PR school for health, fitness and wellness entrepreneurs, she’s here to teach you how to connect with the right media personalities and use the power of publicity to get your brand in the spotlight and attract your perfect clients.
Connect with her via: Facebook: facebook.com/lsrmakemediafriends/, Twitter: twitter.com/ellerich or Instagram: instagram.com/lisasimonerichards