Since launching my blog under two years ago, I have been honoured to secure over 50 media features in print, digital, podcast and radio sources.
I am often asked by fellow bloggers and coaches how I managed to get so many media features in such a short period of time. The short answer is – through strategic planning and focussed, consistent effort!
In this post I will share 7 ways that you too can get more media features.
Get professional photos
Many journalists and bloggers will request a photo or multiple photos to accompany your feature. I have found that having great professional photos (thanks Renee Bell) and storing them in an easy-to-reach place (e.g., Google drive, Dropbox) has really helped with obtaining media features.
If you can’t yet afford professional photos, you might consider getting one or two profile shots done and/or asking a photography-gifted loved one to take some photos for you as a starting point. My dear friend Kate who has a fabulous camera and is a natural talent did this for me when I first started.
In fact, I’m getting to a point now where my photos have been used so frequently in features, that it’s probably time that I invested in some new ones.
Create a Media page
I honestly think that one of the reasons why I have had so much success with securing media features is because of my Media page. The purpose of this page is to make it super easy for those who are considering featuring you to get all the bits and pieces that they need to pull together the article.
On this page, you might consider including:
- Your professional biography – which they can easily lift and use in their article or guest profile of you.
- A sample of professional photos (including a front on head shot) – that they can easily download and use in the feature.
- A list of examples of any media features or guest posts along with links to them – so they can look at your other work and get a vibe for whether you are a right fit.
- A selection of testimonials or short references – to provide social proof of your credibility, expertise and general awesomeness.
I have had journalists tell me a number of times now that having all of this information in one place made life much easier for them in writing and publishing their story.
Sign up for Sourcebottle
Many of my media features were initially secured by signing up to Sourcebottle for updates and looking through their emails for requests from journalists and bloggers.
When I found a relevant request or call out, I’d message the journalist with a brief introduction of who I was and my relevant expertise, along with a response to their enquiry, and a link to my Media page for further information and easy access to my bio, photos, and examples of other work.
Providing such a response made it super easy for journalists to a) see whether my expertise was relevant to their story; b) read and use my response to their enquiry; and c) copy and paste my bio and take whatever photos they needed straight away. This eliminated the need for back and forth emails for extra bits of information and made the process super easy for all involved.
Directly contact bloggers, journalists and publications
When I first published my blog, my initial features were via guest posts and interviews by other bloggers. In general, I sourced these directly myself by:
- Researching online and searching the shelves at the newsagent for aligning blogs, platforms and magazines. I would then write a list of these sources and add to them over time as I discovered more that I’d like to feature in.
- I’d then then pick at least two media features that I would like to submit articles to each month. I would research their platform, get a feel for their audience, look for gaps, and identify overlapping areas of interest. I would then write an article or press release (see below), ensure it met any of their advertised requirements for submissions, and directly send it to the platform along with a link to my Media page. Most of the time, I would receive a response within 24-48 hours to say that the article had been accepted.
Following this approach led to features in The Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Tiny Buddha and inspired COACH within my first couple of months of launching my business. And as I started to feature in more places, and people started to notice, I began to receive a lot of requests from bloggers requesting articles and interviews also – which spiralled a heap of further online features.
Note: There is a great post by Sarah Jensen here on how to be featured by The Huffington Post. I couldn’t say it better myself – so highly advise you jump over and read what she’s shared.
Become skilled at writing a press release
When I became a finalist for International Coach of the Year, I contacted my local press outlets to inform them and see if they were interested in featuring my story. I didn’t receive any responses.
Shortly after, the Beautiful You Coaching Academy sent a draft press release for finalists to tinker with and send around to their local press. I did this – and was featured by Central Queensland University and the Atherton Tablelander.
When I won International Coach of the Year, I updated the press release and sent it to my local media outlets again – and was featured in my local newspaper the Cap Coast Mirror, Central Queensland University Uni News, Be Magazine, and the Atherton Tablelander.
The press release was a one page document that included:
- A title ‘Press Release – For Immediate Release’ followed by the date, making it clear when the press release was received and could be published.
- An eye-catching headline that suited the context and location of the media feature.
- A pre-written article that upfront tells them the who, what, where, and how – followed by fabulous quotables, supporting facts, and valuable background information.
- Website details for where readers can go for further information and contact details for where the journalist can reach you if they have further information. This is where I also included a link to my Media page where the journalist could access photos and my professional bio if they wished.
- Finish the document by writing ‘End’ to make it clear that the press release is complete.
I found that I was most successful with securing press when I sent my press release directly to the Editor or journalists, rather than to a general reception email address, where possible.
Click on the image below to get a free Media Features Plan that you can use for your own business or blog if you choose – it includes a worksheet / template for the above press release as well.
Hire a PR firm
After my initial success with securing press for the International Coach of the Year win, I contacted some PR companies to capitalise on my success further. I engaged Pineapple PR who did a once-off campaign to local press who hadn’t responded to my previous call-out. Through this, I secured an interview with ABC radio and press on the ABC news website.
For those who can afford to outsource PR, this is obviously a great option – especially for more longer term campaigns or launches. However, if you can’t don’t be disheartened – apart from the ABC news feature, all of the press and features I’ve obtained in my business so far have been without the help of a PR company.
Share your features + thank the source
When you are blessed to receive press and media features, my final suggestion would be to share it around on your social media and shout it out from the rooftops. This not only shows your audience that you’ve been featured, but it shows the journalist and source that you valued and appreciated their work. I like to send a little follow up email or gift where I can as well, to show them how much I appreciated them featuring me and to keep me in mind for future opportunities.
I’d love to know in the comments below – will you be trying out one of the above tips and / or do you have a tip of your own to share to help readers and myself?