How to Get Free Press Coverage (10 steps)

I collected ten steps companies need to start their PR activities.

  • Prepare your profiles

You must have your key messages and company description across all your channels. It should be clear who you are, what your company is doing, and how you are helping your audience.

Ex.: Dropbox is the world’s first smart workspace. We bring all your team’s content together while letting you use the tools you love. And we help cut through the clutter, surfacing what matters most.

  • Set up business and communication goals

Before pitching journalists, you should have a clear view of what you would like to achieve.

Ex.: raise money, hire new people, or increase the number of sales.

  • Decide about the topic

You can make a list of topics your company has data or any experience.

Ex.: if you are the owner of the fitness app, you can make a list of exercises. You can also share your knowledge about building an app or marketing your product.

  • Find media

For each topic, you should have a list of media that are covering the themes you collected.

I love using Buzzstream for media lists. You can also use just Google Sheets. I suggest having a list of 6 columns: name of the media, link, traffic, DA/DR, options how you can pitch them, and comments.

  • Find relevant journalists

It is one of the most important steps where you need to invest a lot of time. You should find the right journalist and understand how to pitch your story so he/she will be interested in it.

I suggest finding journalists on LinkedIn of Tweeter and use them to understand their interests. You can also pitch them directly on Social Media. Keep in mind that personal Social Media is not the right option (Instagram/Facebook). Only if the journalist mentions it is okay for them.

  • Write a perfect pitch

A pitch should be short and straight to the point. Tell the journalist about your expertise and propose 3-4 ideas of the content you can create for them. You don't need to prepare the text of the column. You need to understand either they are interested or not. It could be that they will ask for another article on a similar topic. Check it for mistakes, and send it.

  • Follow-ups

For sure, it makes sense to follow up if there was no response. I recommend adding additional value to the follow-up message.

  • Content creation

If you received a “yes” from a journalist, you are lucky. Let's move to the next step and prepare the article. You must check the tone of voice and the style of the media, check similar columns: how much comments and social shares they have. Collect all best practices and use them in your column.

  • Send to the journalist, and wait for the feedback

If feedback is positive, check the date when it will be published.

Congrats! Your article is published, and you can share it across all your channels.

  • Do not forget to say "thank you" to the journalist and mention them in your posts

There are also other options on how to prepare content for media: it could be researches or press releases which you are sending to journalists without discussing with them the content.