Now that you have stories in mind, it’s time to locate the media contacts that would potentially interested in running your story. This is an important part of the publicity process because getting in front of the right person can mean the difference between getting printed or being ignored.
Think About the Publicity Medium
Stories on real estate can be found on pretty much any media outlet available. From television to newspapers and even blogs, you can find a limitless list of places to share your stories.
Television and radio are probably two of the most comprehensive media outlets because you not only share your story but also your personality. They provide a deeper connection to the viewing or listening audience by showcasing more who you are and making your face or voice recognizable.
Local news channels often have specific programs centered around certain topics. In Houston, for example, where diversity in the population is high, a couple of local news channels are focused specifically on African American or Hispanic community highlights. If you fit into a certain demographic personally, you could be a shoe-in for one of these shows. Women-focused publications are another idea.
Print media such as newspapers and magazines also have specific topics or community-focused angles that they cover. Small business magazines, for example, might love to highlight a day in the life of a typical, independent real estate agent (that could be you!). A neighborhood newsletter, newspaper or magazine would be interested in local real estate statistics that you can provide or recent developments in the area for which you are an expert.
Many bloggers have large followings and cover a variety of topics. It could be about women, business or real estate itself.
Doing a search for each of these media outlets locally will yield a list that you can start collecting and making note of for potential publicity angles to pitch to them.
Organize Your Media Contacts
It’s not enough sometimes to send a message or pitch to the general email box of a media outlet. Getting in direct contact with the section editor or reporter who would be the most interested in your story is key to increasing your chances of getting published or interviewed. Keep in mind that these editors and reporters receive hundreds of pitches each month, so you may have to follow up with them several times by email and phone to get noticed.
Most municipal sites or online media sources have a comprehensive list of media. Simply type in your online search “local [your city] media.” For community-focused publications, search “[neighborhood] media,” “newspapers,” “magazines,” or “newsletters.”
That’s why it is pivotal to keeping an organized list of these contacts and journaling for each the date and type of contact you made. Include the media outlet name, contact name, position, phone and email as well as a separate column for notes (which is why an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet works great for this).
Who to Contact
Now it’s time to do some research. Think about the stories on your list and who would be most interested in it. Features or Lifestyle Editors target human interest stories, so add them to your list. Reporters with this particular beat may have written or covered similar stories to yours, so scan the local paper or video archive of your local television news stations and contact them.
It doesn’t hurt to ask if you have the wrong person or if you’re not sure if they can refer you to the editor, reporter or producer who would be interested in your topic.
An easy way to find out who to contact, besides doing an online search, is to call the media outlet and briefly summarize your pitch to ask the person answering the phone who the best contact would be.
In the next post, we’ll dig deeper into ways to pitch your real estate story to get you some good publicity or to automatically get published.