Media coverage is great for any business. It brings traffic, sales and adds to your reputation – and it can bring valuable editorial links.
But if you’re not experienced in public relations, how do you get media coverage? Just like SEOs, many PRs are self-taught and I believe it’s a skillset that can be learned.
And Majestic can be a great tool to help your PR education. I’ll cover that in this article and pick out some reasons why you might not be getting the media attention you deserve.
To learn PR you’ve got to become an avid reader of the media so that you know what makes news. Majestic can then give you further insights into the stories and the companies you find.
I spend the first 30 minutes or so of my day scanning the news and collecting examples of good PR in practice. I look for news stories that feature small to medium-sized business. (even better if the article includes an editorial link)
I pick out the company featured in the article and use Majestic to quickly find what other media coverage they have got. I have a specific routine:
- I enter the company website into Site Explorer
- I open the ‘Topics’ tab and filter the results on the word ‘news’ – this brings up all the topics that include news.
- I browse through the results looking for interesting examples and then investigate the page on which the link sits and the page to which it points.
I dig deep into the results to identify the journalist who wrote the story, the outlet in which it was published and then try to understand why the story appeared. This is valuable information I can then use in my own PR campaigns.
So how come these companies got coverage? Here’s 4 reasons with real examples.
Reason #1: They keep working the media
Most of the companies you see featured have had previous success in winning coverage and you can find many examples using Majestic.
Here’s an example of a German company, featured on the BBC in this article, Taste of Home: The enduring popularity of expat food shops and I’ll take you through my process. I found the article just by browsing:
The story explores the enduring popularity of expat food shops and features an English shop based in Cologne, English-Shop.de.
Scoring coverage and an editorial link from the BBC is great and I assume that they’ve got more coverage elsewhere. A quick look with Majestic gives me more examples of where the shop got coverage.
I enter the domain, click on the Topics tab and then filter for ‘news’:
And I find another article on Die Welt, Auf der Suche nach dem echten Zisch:
There are more articles all mentioning or linking to the shop and if English-Shop.de was a competitor of mine, I’d want to explore them and see if they offered me media opportunities too.
I can also pick out other companies featured in the same article – there’s another 6 food companies and I can use the Bulk Backlinks Tool to show me which of those are media savvy too (I’ve highlighted them in the red box):
I can then explore news sites linking to them and quickly build a valuable media prospect list.
It’s clear to me that media success comes from long term plan – instead of thinking, “I’ll pitch a story and hope it will be successful”…
…I should be thinking “Over the next 12 months, I want to pitch 12 stories to the media – and expect that at least 3 are successful ”.
This works because if one media outlet covers you, other media outlets feel safer trusting you, and will be more likely to respond to your pitch.
It’s very rare that you’ll get immediate success with any media pitch. So don’t be disheartened, keep working at it – you have to learn the ropes before you’re likely go get coverage.
Reason #2: They spread memorable stories
You can’t expect journalist to immediately see the potential of your company for media coverage. You’ve got to create the story for them – and that’s why my mornings scanning the media are useful – they give me good ideas that I know have worked – and then I’ll adapt them for my own situation.
Here’s a great example from the Atlantic, “A Surprise Twist in the Mystery of the Lost Telegrams“, where the journalist recalls a story she was told by Scottish brewer, BrewDog.com, 6 years previously!
The lesson here is don’t just give journalists dry facts, craft and pitch stories they can remember and spread!
Again, I do my ‘news’ search on Majestic and find lots more media stories on BrewDog:
BrewDog.com is a fantastic link profile to explore. The company are masters at creating newsworthy stories. If I was a competitor or a company with a similar audience, I’d find a lot of opportunities by going through the results.
And I’d see what compelling stories I could create for my own brand.
Reason #3: They focus on people and personalities
News stories are not so much about the company, but about the people involved with the company, be they the founders, the staff or the customers.
‘People’ have an enduring fascination for journalists – and pitching stories that feature real people is a great strategy.
In this story about the hotel website, Mr & Mrs Smith, it was the married couple behind the site that made the story on the BBC:
The article explains the story of how they came up with the business idea after a nightmare visit to a Spa Hotel in Cumbria, England. The couple are quoted widely in the article:
Ms Heber-Percy, 43, says: “I’d got all glammed up to go down to dinner, but when we got there everybody was sitting in the formal dining room in their dressing gowns.”
The couple made good their escape to a local pub, and checked out of the spa first thing in the morning.
Mr Lohan adds: “I felt like I was escaping my matron at boarding school.”
It’s this personal story that really makes the piece. Without the couple, there would have been no story.
So never be afraid to feature real people from your business or client – it can make all the difference to getting coverage or not.
And Majestic shows us that the couple are no strangers to media coverage either:
That again is a fantastic link profile. I’d reckon that their personalities feature heavily in those stories that covered the.
Reason # 4: They create something worth linking to
This is particularly important if you’re doing PR as part of an overall SEO campaign.
You’ll want to earn an editorial link if you can, and one of the best ways of doing that is to create something that the journalist just has to share – and realizes that the best way to do that is link to it.
Take this story from the Washington Post, “If you hate telemarketers, you’ll love this robot designed to waste their time”:
The story features Roger Anderson who started the Jolly Roger Telephone, a service that lets users start a three-way call with the service so they can listen gleefully as the bot rambles on.
It’s designed to provide entertainment and empowerment for everyone who has grown weary of the phone calls. Its first question of the telemarketers is often, “Is this a real person?”
Any journalist who feels pestered by cold calling telemarketers is going to find it hard to resist linking to Anderson’s site.
And while the spoof website is a bit of fun, there’s a serious side to it. Anderson wants to build robots with a variety of voices and languages – and he’s launched a kickstarter campaign to do it.
So majestic is extremely useful in identifying media stories generated by your competitors. Furthermore, the database can be used to identify outlets and the journalists who write for them.
And even better, if you’re doing PR to support your overall SEO campaign, you can use Majestic to find outlets that give editorial links.