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Like Trump, now is your free publicity opportunity

21 December 2016

If you were keeping up with the news in November and early December, you will have seen how much space was taken up by the Earthquake. This is understandable because it was obviously big news.

But what it also meant was that many other issues were kept off the news pages because there was only so much room. For example, there was little coverage of protests about the US Navy ship visiting New Zealand.

When big news events like this happen, it becomes extremely difficult to interest media in positive stories about your business or organisation. That’s unless you can somehow link them to the earthquake. My advice to people wanting to generate positive media publicity is to first look to see what else is going on. If your story idea isn’t time sensitive, wait for a time when there is little competition for space.

If you're not convinced of the value of free publicity, a big reason Donald Trump got elected was because he got so much more of this than his opponents. See the image for details.

The Silly Season

The time to generate that publicity is now. Over the Christmas holidays, the news media struggle to find interesting stories. Politicians are all sitting on a beach somewhere, businesses shut down and schools are all closed. But the newspaper still has to come out, broadcast news is still produced and people are still surfing the Internet.

That makes it the ideal time to pitch your story ideas to media. There is never a better time.

So what could you pitch?

In my experience as a journalist and media trainer, there are two things that media look for more than anything else. The first are things related to a topical issue. What could you pitch that relates to holidays or Christmas? This could be a tips article or a more news focused idea.

The other thing that interests media are things that are quirky or different. Could you do something out of the ordinary. The best way to sum this up is, “Dog bites man isn’t a story, but man bites dog is.”

Have a think about it. Free media publicity does wonders for your reputation and profile.

If you want to grow your media interview skills, download the free White Paper, “5 Steps to pain-free media interviews at this link. Also let me know if you're interested in my training to develop your own free media publicity. That's kicking off next year.

Filed under Media Training

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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