What to do when you don’t get coverage

When sending out a news release or organising an event specifically for the media, there is of course absolutely no guarantee that the news release will result in coverage or that journalists will show up to your event. That’s the nature of the beast and although you can do things to increase the chance of you getting the result you want, there’s still that element of chance. If you wanted absolute certainty, you would have placed an ad and (happily?) paid the price.

Sometimes it’s not even about your story, it’s got more to do with what else is happening. If a big story breaks just as you’re organising your press conference then it’s possible nobody will turn up at all. And you’re left standing there with your people and lots of uneaten sandwiches.

Is there anything you can do when this happens? Here’s our advice for what it’s worth. Organise the event or send the news release with a backup plan in case you don’t get the desired result. In the case of a media conference see if you can invite a few non media people who would be interested in what you are announcing anyway, then the room won’t feel quite so empty.

Also arrange to have your own photographer present and arrange to video the event. Then you have content you can load up on to your website and disseminate to your customers and contacts. The content can also go up in your press room section of your website, which, you never know, may still be picked up by the media a few days later.

You might also like to send a news release out a week or two after the event or the first release with an update on the original announcement, detailing developments since the first release. Depending on the nature of the news release, you may be able to get interest in it anything up to several weeks after the date it went live.

At Bateson Publicity we have issued news releases that weren’t picked up by media we thought should have, and a strategic phone call into the publication with a “I don’t know whether you might have missed this a few weeks ago…” on one occasion resulted in a front page news item.

Also bear in mind it does sometimes take a while for a news release to be acted upon. In the case of magazines, editorial content is finalised often months before an edition appears on the news stands and, particularly with smaller items, you may never get a call from the publication to expand on the information you included in the release – the journalist writes the item straight from the release. Even with daily papers it can take a while for a story to run – in our experience anything up to three weeks after the original release was sent, depending again on the subject matter.

This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to have media monitoring in place – this will make sure you don’t miss any coverage you get, even weeks or months after sending a release.

David Bateson
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