Making You Newsworthy

May 30, 2014 | Staci Torgeson

KCAL - Fun and Functional Summer SegmentIf obtaining media coverage were as simple as sending information about your business or product to journalists, well, PR firms wouldn’t exist.  The reality is that regardless of what market you cater to – be it tech, family & parenting, luxury goods, fashion & beauty, food & beverage or pet products – it is a crowded one.  You are vying for the attention of editors in a sea of competitors and simply saying “look at this amazing widget,” most likely won’t get the attention you’re after.

So how can a small business grab the attention of editors and producers?  Keeping an eye on trends and headlines and finding a way to tie your business to popular topics is one excellent way to rise to the top of the pack.  With our staff consisting of a combination of former journalists and long time PR pros, we’ve become experts at doing just that!  What this means is that we frame our clients’ story expertise and product line around current headlines or trends that we’re seeing in the news.

It can’t be forced and the tie-in needs to make sense.  Sometimes the tie-in is a simple one.  Other times it takes some creative out-of-the-box thinking to create the relationship between a product and a headline or trend, but it is always well worth the effort.

Hungry for an example?  In early 2012, when Pinterest was the media darling of social media, we publicized the fact that jeweler Beth Quinn had experienced some fantastic success on Pinterest.  At the time, many businesses weren’t sure how to use Pinterest or if they even should.  Knowing that the media had a healthy appetite for Pinterest stories, when Beth casually mentioned her activity on the platform to her publicists, they knew immediately that it was newsworthy.  Publicizing Beth Quinn’s early Pinterest success led to several media features – including this one on Boston.com.

In recent months, Kickstarter has taken the place of Pinterest for media interest.  We have many successes to boast in that arena as well and we’ll dive into that next month; but instead, we’d like to highlight a creative example of what some refer to as newsjacking.  Knowing that the best tie-ins don’t necessarily have to come from the top headlines of the day, we tied Beardski into weather reports at the beginning of ski season.  We knew that meteorologists would be reporting on cold weather and the opening of ski resorts and that the very humorous visual of well known anchors sporting a Beardski would make for good TV.  This outreach resulted in Beardski being seen on dozens of stations throughout the country.

One aspect of this PR initiative that we’re incredibly proud of at Orca is our ability to create trend pieces for the media.  Our publicists work collaboratively to put ​together themed TV segments or magazine spreads with excellent media appeal that encompass ​multiple ​clients ​. The media greatly appreciates this carefully-constructed, ‘pre-packaged’ content in which they can simply run with.  The image at the top of this post is one such example of this practice. Six Orca clients were featured in a segment on the CBS Los Angeles affiliate, KCAL-TV, that highlighted fun and functional items for summer.  Need more examples? Last month we highlighted one perfect illustration of this practice with our now annual Autism Awareness Month pitch and earlier this month we showed you all of the features that resulted from Mother’s Day  pitching.  But this is a common and very successful practice at Orca.

If there is a trend taking place or holiday on the calendar, you can be sure that Orca publicists are utilizing it in a variety of engaging pitches to the media.  We’re happy to boast dozens of pieces on a monthly basis that are the result of skillfully linking client products and services to the latest news and trends.