This year I was featured in the Daily Mail, one of the UK’s national newspapers.
It’s the world’s biggest online English language newspaper site and the print edition has one of the biggest circulations in the UK (source).
How did I do it, and more importantly, how you can do it too.
Decide you really want to.
Seriously, have that conversation.
For me, it was a chat with a client last year where I shared that one of my biggest fears was being in the Daily Mail, as my life wouldn’t be worth living because I would be hounded by paps and ridiculed and humiliated. Let’s not be coy, it happens, it’s a reasonable fear.
However, I feel something happened when I said it out loud, and heard how crazy it sounded, describing my fears to my lovely, not-brought-up-in-the-UK client.
The crazy part was letting the fears get in the way. Rather like not crossing the road because sometimes people get hurt crossing the road. You just get on with it don’t you?
Take yourself to a coffee or tea shop, have a slice of cake and make a plan for which press you want to be in, how exciting it would be to be in them (’cause what’s the point if you don’t care) and what scares you about it happening. Write it all down and create a to do list.
Decide if it’s your business you want to be featured or if you’d be more comfortable with another subject.
This may sound crazy, why wouldn’t you want your business to feature! Don’t forget the SEO pulling power of national press, especially the sites with big online presence. You could power a small country with their SEO spend. Piggy back on it and yes, you can get great marketing exposure for your business if you take care of details like getting your name right and your job title (aka what you do) right. Your target market will find you.
Depending on whether you want business or not-business, you want a different strategy so keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. There are social media channels like #journorequest however you can also waste a lot of time on them (with honourable exceptions). Word of mouth and keeping an eye out can work really well.
For me, at this point I don’t want my business in a lot of the national press, ok, I’ll be honest, the red tops.
However when BBC Radio, the Guardian and the Daily Mail come calling, I’m not going to say no. Even if it did mean talking about international tax on live national radio at 7am on a January Monday morning with my stepson trying to sleep on the sofa 3 feet away.
This year I’ve been in trade and retail publications Economia, Healthy, Vitality, Make & Sell Jewellery and Gigaom, and international publications Global Finance and EU Observer. It’s a good success rate for not having a plan.
Yes, that’s right. I didn’t have a plan. I was open to it happening and I took opportunities when I saw them.
(If Stylist are reading this, hello lovely people, a photo and paragraph about how I enable women to create new lives and opportunities by helping them transform their fear of their tax return – with cake – would be fabulous).[Edit: 3 days after I wrote this I achieved an ambition to write for London newspaper, City AM. It’s an example of how you can create your own opportunities. I am a regular reader and I saw that I had a great angle on their cover story. I contacted them, shared the story and was published with author credit and photo. It can be that simple!]
Do your research.
Do you know the ways journalists find case studies?
Do you know how a journalist works, how they’re paid, their pain, their pressures? For example, often they’re only paid on publication or are asked to do a last minute piece.
Are you prepared to reply as fast as possible and be available if you’re contacted by a journalist? Often they have super tight deadlines.
Do you have your bio and photos ready to go?
Have you thought how you want to be described in the press and is anything definitely not ok? For example, although the journalist didn’t quote what I said in her Daily Mail piece completely to what I meant, it doesn’t matter. Only that she described me as ‘tax return coach’ and spelt my name correctly.
Are you prepared to be photographed and the photographs to maybe not show you in your best light? (That’ll be me in the Mail on a bad hair day in a piece about my hair). Do it anyway, it doesn’t matter. Also, ignore comments, honestly. Trust me on this one. Don’t read the comments.
You can have a super duper media PR plan or you can do a bit of research when you’re procrastinating about something else (not your tax return of course!). It prepares the way for Things To Happen.
Which leads me to….
My friend shared a link on my Facebook feed. I was perfect for what the journalist wanted. I signed up, I was featured, I was paid.
Yes, I was featured in a national press article and was paid for it.
You can read my story in My Experience Of A Daily Mail Photoshoot.
The best part is that I was also a member of the group where the case study request was made and because I believe in not checking groups every day (it’s a time prioritisation thing), I hadn’t seen it. This is why word of mouth is your friend. My friend saw it (thanks Jenny!) and the rest was awesome.
National press coverage on a subject I wasn’t known for and of interest to a target market I want. Marketing heaven.