3 Ways to Land Media Attention Without a News Pitch Your company may in fact be awesome, but the media rarely responds to self-aggrandizing pitches. Here are three ways to generate headlines during a slow-news moment.

By Dave Clarke

entrepreneur daily
Groundhog Day

Note to founders: Except for relatively rare occurrences and when you have actual news, journalists aren't going to write a story solely about your company and how awesome it is.

They're just not. Shockingly, they're not in the business of penning commercials.

But worry not. When you're between news moments, there are ways for you and your business to earn a little coverage that don't rely on hard news or that elusive glowing company feature.

1. Roundups and trends
While a reporter might not be interested in featuring you and your company alone, he or she might be more inclined to explore the ecosystem in which your company lives -- and the larger, related trends. Brainstorm on a few themes in your industry.

If you make a personal-finance app, maybe there's something seasonal like how mobile apps are going to change the way people shop over the holidays. Then wrangle up a handful of apps -- including yours, of course -- that'd be appropriate for this story. (Tip: Identify other apps in your universe, not necessarily competitive. This seems obvious, but worth mentioning.

Related: 5 Ways to Land Press for Your Startup From Your Dorm Room

Now you're delivering a pitch that's not all about you. And that's refreshing. Instead, you're pitching a trend in the space the reporter covers and in which you're a participant and expert.

2. Data
Does your product generate data? If so, you could be sitting on a treasure trove of pitchable material.

Sticking with the personal-finance app example for a moment, say you're aggregating all this data about consumer behavior. It could be by region, by spend amount, by save amount, by age… the list is endless. Your data -- and related analysis and presentation -- can be news to the media that cover your space.

Related: 4 Must-Have Elements in a Successful Media Pitch

Dig into what you're collecting and think about how it's marketable but do so under adherence to your privacy policy and terms of service. With this approach, your customers come first, hands down. Then think about ways you can present this data that's digestible to media. Infographics can work well here, but just make sure they're actually infographics, not just colorful illustrations. (Tip: when pitching this sort of thing, gauge interest first with a quick email, rather than sending some big attached report or image.)

3. Bylines
Are you an expert in your field? Have strong opinions about what's happening in your space? Decent writer? If so, penning guest posts for relevant outlets might make sense. (The win here is usually a byline, with a link back to your company or product page.) Capture a few concise trends, send them to an editor and see what sticks.

Related: How to Humanize Your Brand and Build Social-Media Buzz

But do so while maintaining a few guidelines. First, anything you write needs to be original and unpublished elsewhere -- even your own blog. Most outlets will make this clear. Second, this is not your chance to write an advertorial. Nothing promotional, nothing self-serving. You're writing this piece as a knowledgeable writer, not the CEO of your company. Lastly, adhere to deadlines. If you tell an editor you can turn a piece around in 48 hours, you're on the hook.

What clever strategy have you used to land media coverage? Please share in the comments section below.

Dave Clarke

Founder and lead strategist, AuthenticMatters

Dave Clarke is the founder and lead strategist at AuthenticMatters, a digital strategy firm that helps companies - from web startups to brick & mortars - acquire the right customers to the right products for the right reasons. Email him at dave@authenticmatters.com to learn more or grab a beer if you're ever in Philly or New York.

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