How to use media coverage as a sales tool | Zapier (2023)

I've encountered so many executives and entrepreneurs who have had a misguided idea about the purpose and usefulness of media coverage for their companies. They tend to think that media coverage should be an extended advertisement that breathlessly celebrates the brilliance of their teams, the superiority of their products or services, and the disruptiveness of their organizations. They also feel that, in order for it to be deemed successful, media coverage should quickly deliver clicks, emails, or phone calls that lead to purchases.

It's all part of what I refer to as the Field of Dreams fallacy.

Field of Dreams was a hit 1989 sports fantasy movie starring Kevin Costner, and one of its memorable lines has become embedded in popular culture: "if you build it, they will come." ("It" referred to a baseball field in Iowa with supernatural powers, and "they" referred to baseball fans. The late '80s in full force.)

The media equivalent is the belief that "if we build [create] it [media coverage], they [new customers] will come [buy our stuff]." And if the expected customer actions don't emerge, the conclusion is that the attempt to secure media coverage was a waste of time, energy, and money.

There's a whole lot of C-level confusion to unpack and clean up here. So I want to dig into what the goal of your campaigns should be, what kind of coverage opportunities are available, and how your sales team should use the earned coverage to attract customers, gain a competitive edge, and close more business.

The difference between ads and media coverage

If you embrace the notion that your media campaigns should be long-form advertisements for your company, you need to let that go ASAP. It's an inaccurate assessment that will result in misspent funds, poor execution, and frustrating outcomes.

Ads are promotional: their aim is to encourage the purchase of a product or service. In terms of longevity, an ad's presence in a media outlet (website, podcast, radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, etc.) will last only as long as the duration of the term of the media buy that was purchased by the advertiser.

The role of media coverage, on the other hand, is to educate and notify the marketplace about something significant related to your organization. Pursuing it is a long-game plan that's meant to build awareness and trust among qualified customers and influence their buyers' journeys toward eventual purchases.

Where the presence of ads is temporary, media coverage lasts forever. Also, unlike ads, media coverage gets pinned, liked, shared, printed, commented on, discussed, saved, and filed.

Press releases: CNBC, not QVC

Press releases are the media coverage you control—you write them, you release them. That's great, but the tone of the press releases that businesses send to journalists, bloggers, editors, and producers is an area that's frequently fumbled.

Many business owners and execs think that if they inject a thunderous gumbo of exclamation points, unsubstantiated hyperbolic statements, and cliched biz jargon ("leading!" "best in breed!" "core competencies!") into their news releases, the media professionals who receive these throbbing cyclones of hype-filled spin will be so impressed, they'll put all of their to-dos aside and slap the announcement on the front page.

That's not how it works.

(Video) How to use media coverage to make more sales

My simple tip for how to formulate press releases for your media campaigns: emulate the spirit of CNBC, not QVC. Share timely announcements (e.g., additions to your line of products/services, expansions of your facilities, new hires/awards/achievements/research, etc.) that might be appealing to your industry—and express it in a professional voice.

Imagine how your news releases would sound if they were read by a CNBC anchor. If they're measured, mature, and substantiated by facts, you're on the mark. But if they have hints of a rowdy infomercial, you need to rewind, take a deep breath, and decaffeinate the wording.

If you choose to follow a hard sell messaging route, your release will either be ignored by the editors and reporters who you send it to, or you'll get a call from someone in the sales department of the media outlet that you pitched. They'll tell you that if you want your info to be featured, you'll need to purchase an ad since your presentation is inappropriate for editorial consideration.

Firsthand experience

I run a marketing consulting firm, VC Inc. Marketing, and my initial exposure to misunderstandings about the intention and merits of media coverage happened when I was providing consulting services to a vocational college with campuses around the country. The organization operated in a very competitive space and was frustrated by the poor performance of its previous media coverage implementations.

The top executives' thoughts on how its media coverage efforts should be crafted and how its targeted customers (in this case, students) should respond indicated a murky grasp of best practices and realistic expectations. To better position them for success, I explained how their approach diminished the ROI of their rollouts, overlooked the potential value of media coverage as a persuasive competitive differentiator, and most importantly, eliminated the opportunity for their admissions teams to elevate enrollments from prospective students.

I then devised a new blueprint that shifted from looking at media coverage as a vehicle for windy braggadocio to one that demonstrated—in a fact-based and enlightening way—the excellence of its offerings. This patient, steady, and trustworthy methodology not only helped the college gain exposure in print, online, and on TV outlets in each of the markets where it had campuses, but it also secured national coverage on NBC's "Today." The tandem of local/regional and national media attention brought a steady increase of inquiries, campus tours, and enrollments from new students that raised revenue for over three years.

The different types of media coverage

I recommend that my clients embrace a diverse blend of media coverage options that endeavor to teach and inform—not to promote or sell. These choices include:

1. Widely distributed news releases

  • Format: Announcements, written and launched by you (through a tool like Cision), of newsworthy company updates that would be of interest to the media and the marketplace.

  • Targets: Brand name online newsrooms (Yahoo News, Google News, etc.) and multimedia editors/reporters who cover topics that are relevant to your company, your industry, and the information that you're sharing.

  • Goals: To gain placement of your announcements in online newsrooms, to attain high search rank of your announcements for specific keywords, and to inspire expanded third-party coverage of your announcements.

2. Targeted, outlet-specific story pitches

  • Format: Individually crafted pitches of story ideas that relate to your company's updates/news/developments.

    (Video) Media Coverage Analysis Tool.mp4

  • Targets: Authoritative and influential media outlets with strong domain authority that are relevant to your industry and the information that you're sharing.

  • Goals: To inspire third-party coverage about your company and announcements.

3. Executive multimedia interviews

  • Format: Online, print, podcast, radio, or TV interviews with your CEO or company's other top executives.

  • Targets: Authoritative and influential media outlets with strong domain authority that are relevant to your industry and the information that you're sharing.

  • Goals: To inspire third-party coverage about your company by creating a forum for the points of view of the featured executives, to position these executives as bold and original thinkers, and to distinguish your company from your competitors based on the vision and innovativeness of these executives.

4. Executive POV byline articles

Learn more about how to get started with thought leadership and where to publish your thought leadership content.

5. Executive quoting for journalists' deadline articles

  • Format: Featured quotes from your CEO or designated executives in articles for print and/or online media outlets on a variety of topics that affect your industry. These quotes would be included along with input from CEOs/execs from other companies who the journalist would also present as influential sources of valuable knowledge.

    (Video) Media Coverage Analysis: Uncovering Market Whitespace

  • Targets: Authoritative and influential media outlets with strong domain authority that are relevant to your industry and the information that you're sharing.

  • Goals: To position your CEO or designated executives as bold and original thinkers, to distinguish your company from your competitors based on the valued input of the featured executives, and to ramp up the prominence of your CEO/designated executives as a result of their being featured in top tier media outlets.

Learn more about how to use HARO to get media coverage.

Getting more bang for your media coverage buck

It's exciting when you begin securing consistent media coverage about your company. But don't fall into the Field of Dreams trap.

Will you get immediate calls and emails from prospects as a result of the content that they discover about your company? Possibly. But the bigger and more important outcome of your newfound media coverage is the fact that it's not you or your team singing your praises: it's reputable sources of news that advise and serve the marketplace. And if leveraged strategically, the presence of your company in these media outlets has the potential to galvanize prospective buyers to open their wallets and become your loyal customers now and long after the content has been published.

To get your sales team on board, be sure they recognize the three enduring benefits of media coverage that will make their jobs easier:

  1. Media coverage delivers indisputable credibility for your company and your products or services.

  2. Media coverage provides them with an ongoing availability of fresh presentation materials to share with new prospects.

  3. Media coverage provides them with an ongoing availability of prominent updates about your company and your products or services to share with inactive, hesitant, or dead leads.

There's an old saying among sales professionals that goes something like this: if it's your opinion that your product or service is outstanding, but your prospect doesn't agree, your prospect's opinion will always win. But if you have verifiable facts, data, and materials to validate that your product or service is outstanding, your prospect may question their opinion—and eventually become a buyer.

(Video) 8 Steps to Getting Media Coverage

An expanding inventory of media coverage legitimizes your brand and your offerings in the minds of prospective buyers. It's inarguable evidence that your company was deemed credible enough to be featured in selected major media outlets—and that your competitors weren't.

Using media coverage in pitches and presentations

In terms of pitching and presentations, media coverage about your company is the ultimate bulletproofing that your sales team needs to get to a close. It can be a potent partner to your marketing brochures, videos, and pitch decks because it's not coming from in-house: it's emanating from respected and unbiased third-party sources. It's also an impressive secret weapon that your sales team can use to accompany this line: "but hey, don't take my word for it; check out what [name of media outlet] has to say about it."

When your media coverage goes live, here's what you should do to make it available to the public and easy for your sales team to access and run with:

  1. Post links to your media coverage on social. As they emerge, post links on your company's and your employees' social channels, especially LinkedIn. This will allow your media coverage to get viewed, shared, linked, commented on, and liked by your peers, coworkers, team members across the company, current customers/clients, and future customers/clients.

  2. Create an "In the News" section on your website. This will act as a warehouse for the links to your company's media coverage. It will make it fast, easy, and convenient for anyone who's researching your company to discover your media coverage, which could educate them about your offerings and influence their buyer's journey.

  3. Create an off-site portfolio with links to your company's media coverage. This will give your sales team a one-stop, visually impressive repository of your media coverage to share with prospects/leads (I recommend using Contently). In addition, creating and maintaining this archive will boost the SEO of your company and rank high on page one of Google for the keyword of your company's name.

  4. Hold a webinar with your sales team. Take time to explain how media coverage can guide the sales journeys of prospects, hesitant leads, and dead leads toward eventual purchases. This will help your team learn how they can boost the company's revenue (and their own income) by incorporating your media coverage into their efforts.

  5. Share your all future media coverage links, as they go live, with your sales team. This will ensure that every one of your sales pros has access to your company's most recent appearances in the media, which would be useful in their pitches/presentations.

Savvy CEOs, entrepreneurs, and EVPs of sales who understand the business-building benefits that media coverage can make possible for their companies have a distinct advantage in the marketplace.

They see how it can enhance the perception of their organizations as well as their own professional brands. They appreciate how it can position them above their competitors. And they recognize how it can support, energize, and dramatically ramp up wins for their sales departments.

This was a guest post by Rafe Gomez, co-owner of VC Inc. Marketing. Rafe's POVs on sales, messaging, marketing, branding, PR, and competitive differentiation have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including CNBC, Inc., Forbes, Adweek, Entrepreneur, PR Daily, and MarketingProfs. Want to see your work on the Zapier blog? Read our guidelines, and get in touch.

(Video) 8 Steps to Getting Media Coverage

FAQs

How does media coverage help? ›

Media coverage gets your message across to a wider audience and helps establish your business as credible and its activities as notable. Favorable media coverage is a powerful tool in your marketing strategy.

How do you do media coverage? ›

How To Get Press and Media Coverage For Your Small Business
  1. 1) Decide Who You Want to Reach.
  2. 2) Find Out What They Read, Watch, and Listen to.
  3. 3) Get in Touch with Relevant Journalists and Editors.
  4. 4) Do the Work for Them.
  5. 5) Expect to Follow Up.
  6. 6) Write Guest Posts.
  7. 7) Bring Value to Your Community.
1 Oct 2022

What are the three types of media coverage? ›

What are the three types of media coverage? The three types of media coverage are owned, paid, and earned. Owned is your own media, paid is promotional media, and earned is unpaid coverage from other sources.

What is an example of media coverage? ›

Media coverage means any photographing, recording, or broadcasting. Sample 1Sample 2. Media coverage means any reporting, recording, broadcasting, narrowcasting, cablecasting or webcasting of court proceedings by the media using TV, radio, photographic, recording, or other electronic devices.

How do I maximize media coverage? ›

Here are five practical ways that brands can use PR to maximize media coverage by leveraging their own valuable and unique content to reach their target audiences.
  1. Proactive PR Generates Earned Media Coverage. ...
  2. Generate Buzz to Build Brand Awareness. ...
  3. Promote Subject Matter Experts & Thought Leaders Regularly.
7 Jun 2022

What is media coverage analysis? ›

Media coverage analysis allows you to measure the effectiveness of your communications and compare their performance against your peer group. Its reach spans owned, earned and shared media.

What is another word for media coverage? ›

“The press coverage the event receives is invaluable, she said, but she suggested the industry also consider the strength of the subliminal message.”
...
What is another word for press coverage?
presscoverage
publicityhype
exposurereports
articlesattention
broadcastingcommentary
102 more rows

What are the five steps in the media planning process? ›

Here are the five steps to a working media plan:
  1. Know Your Target Audience. There's no point in media buying if that media doesn't reach your target audience. ...
  2. Define Your Goals. ...
  3. Use Smart Tools for Media Planning. ...
  4. Determine the Perfect Media Mix. ...
  5. Execute Your Media Plan.
16 Mar 2017

What are the 7 types of visual media? ›

  • 3.1 Visual Media: Visual Media can be a very powerful tool to enhance the impact of your presentations. ...
  • Posters: ...
  • Charts: ...
  • Photos:
  • Bulletin Board: ...
  • Transparencies: ...
  • Power Point Slides: ...
  • Graphs:

What are the 6 examples of media types? ›

Modern media comes in many different formats, including print media (books, magazines, newspapers), television, movies, video games, music, cell phones, various kinds of software, and the Internet.

What are the 5 media types? ›

5 Distinct Media Types
  • Print and Text. - This media by far has been the most popular in education throughout the last century and will continue to thrive, as it is a quick means of distributing informational text to students. ...
  • Still Graphic and Static Displays. ...
  • Sound and Music. ...
  • Video and Animation. ...
  • Multimedia.

What is 3cs in media? ›

Media convergence unites the three C's: content, corporations, and computers. It is an immediate result of media digitization and the promotion of the web.

What are the 8 types of media? ›

In the late 20th century, mass media could be classified into eight mass media industries: books, the Internet, magazines, movies, newspapers, radio, recordings and television.

What are five things you need to do to make sure your event gets media coverage? ›

8 Tips to Get Your Special Event Covered by the Media
  1. Create a press kit tailored for the event. ...
  2. Send invitations to appropriate media outlets and press. ...
  3. Lists of story ideas or angles that will help journalists cover your event. ...
  4. Consider a public service announcement if your event is philanthropic.

What are three best examples of media? ›

There are many forms of media, and each has some forms within it. Newspapers and magazines are print media. Broadcast media is television and radio. Lastly, Internet media comprises social media or podcasts.

What are the 4 evaluation of media? ›

There are four key stages in the use of media. These stages include design, development, distribution and reflection.

What is media analysis strategy? ›

Defintions: "The examination, interpretation and critique of both the material content of the channels of media of communication and the structure, composition and operations of corporations that either own or control those media.

What are the four components of media measurement? ›

2. Name the four components of media measurement. audience, impression, frequency, and cost per thousand (CPM) 3.

How do you use media coverage in a sentence? ›

There was extensive media coverage. But the new media coverage also signalled a new populism. Such criticism has received wide media coverage and is taken very seriously politically in donor countries. It was a case that generated hysterical, daily media coverage and comment.

What is press coverage in marketing? ›

Typically, press coverage is earned when a brand releases newsworthy information in the form of a press release and a journalist finds the information interesting and valuable enough to include in a story (or even write an entire story based on the exclusive research).

What is media coverage bias? ›

Coverage bias when media choose to report only negative news about one party or ideology, Gatekeeping bias (also known as selectivity or selection bias), when stories are selected or deselected, sometimes on ideological grounds (see spike).

What are the 4 functions of media management? ›

Media management includes the functions of strategic management, procurement, production management, and organizational management.

What are the 5 elements of media strategy? ›

The 5 Elements of an Effective Social Media Strategy
  • Audience Awareness. ...
  • Ideal Platform Selection. ...
  • Data-Driven Risk-Taking. ...
  • Constant Learning and Adaptation. ...
  • Integrate within Digital Strategy. ...
  • Conclusion.
18 Mar 2019

What are the six components of a media plan? ›

6 important components of an effective media planning brief
  • Introduction of the brand.
  • Introduction of the product/service.
  • Objective of Advertising.
  • Targeted audience.
  • The ideal budget and the duration of the campaign.
  • List of a few existing competitor or substitute.
23 Dec 2019

What are the 10 types of visual media? ›

Some of them are little less utilized than the others — but all of them playing their own unique role in the visual atmosphere.
  • Progress GIFs. ...
  • Image Sliders. ...
  • Sketches, Comics, and Visual Notes. ...
  • Graphs and Charts. ...
  • Animated Graphs. ...
  • Screenshots. ...
  • Presentations. ...
  • Photographs.

What are the six characteristics of visual media? ›

6 Qualities of the Most Successful Visual Content
  • It minimizes text. ...
  • It incorporates custom design. ...
  • It commits to a strong color scheme. ...
  • It's optimized for its platform. ...
  • It delivers the message quickly. ...
  • It's paired with great SEO.
3 Jul 2018

What are the 10 types of media? ›

Here is the essential information about the main types of mass media and their political contents.
  • Newspapers. The core of the mass media of the departed twentieth century was the newspaper. ...
  • Magazines. ...
  • Television. ...
  • Public Broadcasting. ...
  • Commercial Radio. ...
  • Music. ...
  • Films. ...
  • Books.

What is the most effective form of media? ›

Movies – film, motion picture, screenplay, moving picture, or movie has world-wide reachability. It's the best type of mass media to promote cultures and spread social awareness. Movies have always played a huge part in the entertainment world.

What are the 7 functions of media? ›

The mass media serves information, interpretation, instructive, bonding, and diversion functions. As a gatekeeper, the media functions to relay, limit, expand, and reinterpret information.

What is the purpose of media? ›

The media is best defined by the roles they play in society. They educate, inform and entertain through news, features and analysis in the press.

What are the 6 media effects? ›

These six are cognition, belief, attitude, affect, physiology, and behavior. All individual-level media effects studies examine how the media exert an influence on one or more of these six types.

What are 2 classification of media? ›

Print media: Print media refers to printed materials, such as books and magazines, that contain words and images. Broadcast media: Broadcast media includes information transmitted through one of several mass communication channels, such as television and radio.

What are the 3 new media? ›

New media — often known as multimedia or digital media — relies on digital means to communicate, as opposed to traditional media like print newspapers or television. New media technologies include blogs, videos, websites and internet ads.

What are the 5 types of media convergence? ›

The five major elements of media convergence—the technological, the industrial, the social, the textual, and the political—are discussed below.

What are the 3 C's of selling? ›

Here are the three C's all salespersons should possess:
  • CARE. Any seasoned sales representative will tell you that you need to talk less and listen more. ...
  • COMMITMENT. No deal is signed, sealed and delivered without some chase. ...
  • CONSISTENCY. And of course, you need to offer consistent service and communication.
14 Aug 2013

What are the 3cs in sales? ›

The three Cs refer to the core aspects that lay the foundation — and drive the vision — of real-world success: content management, customer engagement and coaching excellence.

What are media tools? ›

Tools that help to facilitate social media. Examples include RSS, blogs, video logs, widgets, tags, forums, location based services, Web chats, instant messaging, podcasts and microblogging services.

What are the 4 features of new media? ›

The key features of this new media are:
  • Convergence. It is increasingly the case that one device can be used to access a wide variety of media. ...
  • Interactivity. New media formats often facilitate more interaction than old media. ...
  • Audience/user power. Interactivity also gives more power to the audience. ...
  • Accessibility.
25 Aug 2018

What are the advantages and disadvantages of media coverage? ›

Media can influence the sphere of education positively by teaching individuals about various subjects. Media can often cause hindrances in people's personal lives causing a drift in their relationships. Media provides up-to-date information about various topics around the world in very short time.

How did media coverage impact the civil rights movement? ›

Because the media helps shape public opinion, it directly affects the laws that govern our democracy. During the Civil Rights Movement the media gave people the information which shaped the public's opinion and thus caused them to push for change.

How does media coverage affect court cases? ›

Pre-Trial Publicity

Due to extensive media coverage, jury selection in a high profile case can be extremely difficult. Jurors will likely have developed some biases about the case based on the media coverage to which they have been exposed.

How can media coverage increase participation in sport? ›

Media coverage

It increases popularity and knowledge of sports and activities by covering matches and events and interviewing experts. For example, the Rugby World Cup and the London Marathon. It promotes exercise and a healthy lifestyle through reports and documentaries.

What are the 5 types of media? ›

5 Distinct Media Types
  • Print and Text. - This media by far has been the most popular in education throughout the last century and will continue to thrive, as it is a quick means of distributing informational text to students. ...
  • Still Graphic and Static Displays. ...
  • Sound and Music. ...
  • Video and Animation. ...
  • Multimedia.

What role does media play in social movements? ›

Social mediaprovides the opportunity for lateral communication without any influence of the hierarchical system, which informs mainstream media about social movements thus intensifying the influences and contributing more towards the continuity of campaigns during and after the movements.

How did civil rights leaders use the media? ›

Activists during the Civil Rights Movement strategically used the media to show how Black Americans were treated by their white counterparts and by the police (Ruff, 2020). These media images increased the support and empathy for the Civil Rights Movement's efforts, such as voting rights (Selma Marches, 2018).

How did television help the cause of the Civil Rights Movement? ›

Television propelled the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by introducing civil rights campaigns, protests, attacks, and awareness in general onto local and national TV stations.

How does the media influence the legal system? ›

Public opinion gets connected with pressure to change crime policies., especially when there is a high fear of a certain crime The media can provide the public with an estimation of how much crime there is, the types of crime that are common, trends in crime rates, and the daily operations of the criminal justice ...

How does media affect the outcome of a trial? ›

Jurors might be tempted to use social media or the internet to find out further information about the trial other than the evidence presented in court. This can lead them to forming an opinion about the facts which is not based on the admissible evidence.

How does the media influence the commission of crimes? ›

The mass media defines the public image of police, prosecutors, courts, and corrections by acting as gatekeepers of crime coverage. Fictional storylines and the news media reinforce one another by covering crime as an immediate public threat.

How does the media promote physical activity? ›

Mass media and social media can help motivate people to get off the couch and get moving, through targeted campaigns that influence individual behavior and change social norms around physical activity.

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