As a strategic communications and public affairs firm, we invest time building relationships with reporters and getting to know their outlets. We often ask our contacts what they wish people knew about their jobs. We’ve compiled their thoughts to help you answer why your story isn’t getting the coverage you hoped for and what to do instead.
You’re messaging for insiders
You’re an expert in your subject area; with that expertise comes jargon and a highly detailed view of the topic. Reporters and their audience haven’t spent the time immersed in your topic, nor do they have the capacity to.
Instead: Step back and share the bigger picture rather than providing soundbites or quotes steeped in jargon or legalese – what does the average person need to know?
You’re targeting the wrong outlets.
Having your issue featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or USA Today is an incredible feat, but it’s not the only way to effectively share your message. Each day these outlets receive thousands of story suggestions. Even with their digital version, they’re only able to publish a couple of hundred articles a day, meaning most pitches don’t make it out of a reporter’s inbox.
Your timing is off
Even the most carefully crafted communications calendars are at the mercy of the media cycle. Breaking news such as a natural disaster, political incident, or pop-culture moment could shift what media wants to publish at any second, allowing other stories to get picked up over yours.
Instead: Create flexibility in your timeline and look for ways to connect your topic to what is currently trending.