Let’s admit it – getting media attention is EXTREMELY fulfilling. It makes us feel that we have something to show for, that an entity out there deliberately took the time to write about us. Getting media recognition not only builds your credibility and reputation, but can get you noticed by a wider audience and give you a much better overall reach.
Every single time a news outlet would reach out to me I’d get jitters. It didn’t matter how frequent it happened, every single time I have the exact same reaction flooding my parents with messages “Hey look! I got noticed!” There’s actually no better feeling than making your parents proud :)
I was lucky enough to do a live demonstration on national TV, conduct a live radio interview and get published about my henna work on a highly prominent online news channel in the arts and culture section.
But in reality, there was no luck in this at all. This took a lot of hard work on my part. Getting media recognition will not necessarily be handed over to you on a silver platter, but once you get your first few, the others start reeling in.
I know you’re thinking, “Alright enough already, how do I do it?” It takes these 3 steps:
1) REACH OUT TO THEM
Sounds simple right? It’s actually much trickier than you think. Writers, publishers and planners are constantly bombarded by vendors and other individuals who want to get their work recognized. Making an introduction is super important but at best they’ll read your email and may not even respond.
Don’t think that the more news outlets you’ll get in touch with, the more likely you’ll get recognized. It doesn’t work that way. If you don’t have genuine content that benefits them or interests their audience, they won’t have reason to publish you.
Instead, choose about 5 to a handful of mediums, do intentional research about them and see how your work fits with their content. This makes it so much more customizable and picked up from the news entity you’re reaching. Look at previous works they’ve published and point out how your work is similar or could serve their audience. These organizations main goal is to SERVE THEIR AUDIENCE so you need to align your goal with theirs and not be blinded by your own.
2) CREATE THE CONTENT YOURSELF
Sure, these organizations have writers of their own, but if you create the content yourself, you’ve made it SO much easier for the publisher to decide to publish you.
In this manner, you’ve actually made them visualize what a potential article might look like and might even enable to string along further ideas that covers your story.
A while back, I’ve collaborated with an aspiring photographer through an app called FStop – it’s a platform that acts like Tinder but for artists and creative makers. I reached out to them, handed them the pictures we had as a result from the photo shoot we did. They published our work on their website and posted about it on their social media accounts. They also took it a step further and published a one on one interview about me and my work as a henna artist.
Something else I was proactive in was writing an article about the dangers of black henna to a popular news channel in Egypt called “El Konafa”. Because I was so adamant to educate the Egyptian population about the harmful consequences of black henna, since it’s not widely known, I wrote an entire article myself in their own voice and style before having reached out to them. In this pursuit, I educated people about it, gave the channel an article to post and limited their work time, and got my own work promoted as well.
3) MAKE IT EASY TO BE FOUND
You should generally make yourself easy to be found not only to get media recognition, but for clients to be able to easily find you as well. Simplest way you can do that is to have all your channels under the same name. So for example, if anyone tries to find me... My website is The Henna Project, so is my Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube channel.
Generally, Google automatically lists all these things on their first page but I also recommend taking it a step further and utilize other free listing services that could be related to your field. So for instance, I have my business listed on Yelp and Wedding Wire and Thumbtack. This will all rank up in a search pushing you further.
This was essentially how a radio station in New York found me and performed a live 10 minute interview on the air. I have never operated my business in New York, but somehow they were interested in my work because I was accessible and easy to be found.
And that's it my dear friend! The 3 strategies to get your work recognized by the media:
Reach out the news organization very intentionally
Create the content yourself to make it easy for them to decide to publish you and make sure it aligns with their audience
Make it easy to be found so people can have instant access to you & not have to rely on approaching them yourself