When it comes to securing press coverage and working with the media, you may be apprehensive or unsure.
Perhaps you have heard horror stories about people speaking with journalists and writing scathing articles, perhaps you don’t see the benefit or value of media work, or maybe you really do want to engage with the media but think it will be too difficult.
Whatever your reason, we are here to tell you that press coverage is most definitely worth it, and with some useful tips and advice, is nothing to be afraid of. And securing and succeeding press coverage can be easier than you think.
Unsure of the value of media work?
You may be unsure as to whether doing work with the media is worth it in the first place. What value could it possibly have?
Well, the right article in the right outlet could increase your student uptake from a certain country by 20%, lead to an invite to speak at the World Economic Forum (WEF), or an offer to present research findings to the United Nations (UN) Counter-Terrorism Committee.
These aren’t all hypotheticals either. These are all real outcomes we have secured for clients thanks to press coverage. A well-written press release ending up in the hands of a UN employee can do wonders, as can a beautifully-crafted article in The Guardian seen by representatives for the WEF or a series of student stories published in Indian media outlets.
Nervous about media work?
Now that you’re convinced of the value of press coverage, you might be nervous about the reality of engaging with media. But this doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be easier to succeed here than you think. There are just a few things to remember.
Thanks to a certain pandemic changing how we currently interact with each other, many journalists are conducting interviews over virtual platforms, such as Zoom or Teams, or simply looking for contributors to provide written comment over email.
If being interviewed over Zoom or Teams, make sure your camera is situated in a way that gives them a good view of yourself and make sure your background is appropriate. You don’t want an embarrassing item or poster showing up in the video. Also ensure you have a good internet connection. The journalist might not be too impressed if the connection keeps cutting out so they can’t hear what you’re saying.
If you’re nervous or apprehensive about speaking to journalists, don’t forget, they want to speak with you because you’re the expert. They want to find out what you know and what you can say on a certain topic because you’re the authority on that subject.
But most importantly, always remember, nothing is off the record. Anything you say to a journalist can and will be used. Make sure you have an idea of what you want to speak about before the interview so the discussion flows nicely and you don’t say something you shouldn’t.
What do you want to achieve?
To succeed with press coverage, you have to decide what you want your press coverage to achieve. You can’t succeed in something if you don’t know what that success should look like. Do you want to increase student uptake? Do you want to enhance your institution’s reputation? Or do you want to exhibit the calibre of your institution’s research?
There are many end goals when it comes to press coverage, and securing opportunities can be much easier once you ascertain what your goals are.
For example, if you want to increase student uptake, we suggest focusing on producing student diaries or stories detailing the experience of students currently studying at your institution. A number of higher education websites take interest in publishing these such as Study International and Times Higher Education.
An alternative is to demonstrate what students on your courses can achieve by including diaries of successful graduates. Perhaps they have founded their own successful company or work at a high-level for a well-known firm. Publications such as U2B, The Financial Times, The Economist, AMBA and Authority Magazine take interest in these kinds of stories.
And at BlueSky Education, we can certainly help with various stages of securing press coverage and media work to make it that bit easier for you. If you don’t know who is best to contact with a story or topic, we have fantastic contacts and know which journalists focus on which areas. If you don’t have time to write an article and risk missing an opportunity with a top-tier publication, we can ghost-write the article on your behalf. All we would need is a copy of the research paper, if that’s what the article is about, or a quick conversation with you to discuss the topic of the article and what you want to include.