There are many everyday wins in PR that make our jobs just so satisfying, but there is nothing more rewarding then waking up to find that your client has made it onto the front page of a national newspaper. Your client will be ecstatic, your boss will be chuffed and you will gain bragging rights for a period of time which can also be used as a get out of jail free card. Didn’t have a great week? Well sure, but do you remember that time I got my client on the front page of XYZ? You’ll be invincible (although don’t take the mick too much, this power does wear off.)
So how does one manage this elusive achievement? Here are five amazingly easy steps to follow to secure your PR client the headline they deserve.
- 1.Know what you’re talking about
This is a no brainer but you’d be surprised at how many people think they can just wing it when it comes to selling in a client story to journalists. It’s important to know what it is your client does anyway; gain an understanding of the lingo and be prepared to answer questions but it’s even more imperative when you’re trying to get that magical front page piece.
The likelihood that a journalist will ask dozens of questions about your release, stunt or product is incredibly high if they believe it may be suitable for the front cover. There is much competition for this prime slot so you better go into it knowing what your client does and ready to answer even the most complex of questions else you’ll be left in the dust of more prepared PR executives; those who now have happier clients.
- 2.Think outside the box
It is highly unlikely that your bog standard press release will end up on the front page of the Mail Online or the Express. If your client wants that front page, you better get the team together and brainstorm some unique ideas that will stand out against the rest.
Big jaw dropping stunts with unusual results are going to attract a journalist’s eye more so than a product announcement or survey release. I’m not saying there is nothing wrong with these two story ideas as for everyday PR they can be successful and not everything can be a massive stunt (they can get expensive!) but for a front page story you need to be thinking of larger than life ideas.
Put your creative hat on and get pondering.
- 3.Target appropriately
Again, this is something you should be doing anything; a journalist who writes about gaming won’t want to hear what your foodie client has to offer but it goes even further when you want to achieve a front cover; your story should be targeted specifically to the publication your client desires.
If they want to be on the front cover of The Guardian, go out and buy The Guardian. Look at what is on the front cover and think to yourself, ‘How do I replicate this?’
Take note of the tone they use, the demographic they are trying to appeal to and how often the front page diverts from reporting on solely current affairs. Using this information you should be able to tailor a specific, snappy press release that will appeal to the correct journalists.
- 4.Offer exclusivity
Journalist love an exclusive story, so long as it’s captivating and relevant to their audiences. If you’re going for the front cover, you have to make sure that the story you’re selling in to the targeted publication is actually exclusive, not ‘exclusive’.
Any journalist is unlikely to cover your client’s story on the front cover if it’s already been written up by a competitor. Tell the journalist you’re giving them the story before anyone else and, if you’ve targeted correctly and done your research, you could be on to a winner.
One thing to remember, front page stories can lead to competitors expressive interest in your client which can lead to coverage on the back of your hard work.
- 5.Make sure the story had SOMETHING going on
To get your client on the front page, you need to make sure you’re offering something completely unique, maybe even revolutionary.
Your client isn’t likely to be at the forefront of journalist minds when their picking the front page story if they aren’t contributing anything new/ If they’re just another skincare brand or biscuit company with pizazz, your email will likely be deleted in an instant, never to be thought of again.
Think of a way that your client can be relevant; presenting something the world has never seen before.
If this isn’t possible, instead of looking for something new, look at piggybacking off of current events. For example, if you have a holiday client and there’s a story about flights becoming more expensive, get a comment from your client out to relevant contacts as soon as possible. If that’s story ends up being front page news, your comment could get top billing.
Getting your client on a front page can be challenging and it may take some time but I can honestly say that it is totally worth it. You actually feel a rush of happiness and telling your client the good news is so rewarding.