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5 Key Elements of Selling Your Brand to the Media Having a solid brand and getting your brand publicized are two distinct things. Here are insights on how to increase your chances of garnering your brand's media coverage.

By Emily Reynolds Bergh Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • Selling your brand is like selling anything else — your aim is to appeal to the buyer.
  • You can hone that aim with a handful of effective strategies.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Let's clarify something right from the start: crafting your brand and promoting your brand are two distinct functions. The first is a wholly creative process, usually the foundational floor you lay before ever adding one brick to your business. Your brand is a look, a feel and a message. It has a tone, a personality, a presence — it's what you're all about.

Getting that brand presence out there into the world is a whole different matter, however. It has to land with your audience, align with the current marketplace and resonate with investors and stakeholders. And when it comes to the media — those individuals and outlets that are hugely influential in determining which brands will be highly publicized and which brands will flounder amid the vast landscape of competitors — you actually have to sell them on your brand.

How do you do that? By piquing their curiosity and capturing their attention. Securing media coverage depends on enticing influencers to take a closer look at your brand, then (consequently and hopefully) widely disseminating all the good news about your company that you already know.

Here's what I've discovered about selling a brand to the media in my 20+ years as a public relations specialist.

Selling point #1: A compelling story

Media people are people first, journalists second, and just like me and you when we're out shopping around for something new, they want to be interested in something potentially enriching and exciting. Nowadays, the route to elicit that interest is captivating storytelling. In fact, at the heart of any on-point media pitch is compelling storytelling, and although it's your publicist's job to compose a narrative that integrates your brand's journey, values and impact, it's your job to make sure that narrative is relatable and emotionally engaging by infusing it with authenticity and originality.

For example, there might be nothing new to say under the sun about Brussels sprouts. But when one of my restaurant clients started telling me one day about how his exposure to community gardening as a boy when he was volunteering with his uncle led to his passion for organically grown farm-to-table produce, suddenly my pitch about "Uncle Bernie's Brussels Sprouts" on his menu came alive with character and flair. I had a similar experience with an interior designer who just started sharing with me how sitting on the floor as a child watching her mother paint in the basement led to her obsession with color and space. Voilà, I had my brand pitch.

The point is: To do something that has invariably been overdone, infuse it with the personal because that's the direction in which media coverage is moving. Your product or service doesn't matter as much these days as your givebacks, your community imprint or your origin story. Media professionals are always on the lookout for something with a touch of uniqueness — appeal to their humanity by delivering that in the way that only you can.

Related: The 5 Foolproof Steps to Pitching Your Story to the Media

Selling point #2: Clarity and conciseness

Next comes appealing to the ear. The media industry is abuzz with announcements of the "latest and greatest" this or that and is positively awash in a sea of submitted content. To get your piece to rise to the top instead of drowning, recognize that time is a precious commodity in this fast-paced industry and act accordingly.

When pitching your brand, ensure that your messaging is succinct and easily digestible. Clearly articulate what makes your brand singular and why that should matter to the modern consumer. If you can showcase how your brand addresses a specific need or accords with a particular trend in the market, all the better. Short and punchy; a well-crafted elevator pitch — that's what the media wants to hear.

Related: You're Not Just Selling a Product or Service — You're Selling Your Brand Story. Here Are 3 Steps To Ensure It Sells.

Selling point #3: Visual interest

Appealing to the eye is equally vital to lure attention to your brand, and this step is actually fun to pursue. Enhance all your brand materials with visually arresting images, high-quality and thought-provoking photos, spiffy infographics and entertaining video snippets. All should support your brand's story and messaging, and yet all do so in graphic format instead of text-only language. People like this; the media loves this — you're supplying them with ready-to-use content that's already primed for public viewing!

Selling point #4: Data-driven impact

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in business spheres, facts will almost always trump even the most imaginatively composed fiction. The story still matters — the story will always take center stage — but you'll want to back up your brand's story with concrete data and evidence of effectiveness.

The media is drawn more to brands that can demonstrate quantitative, not just qualitative, success, so brand pitches are an ideal place to seamlessly work into the narrative customer satisfaction ratings, market share percentage and social impact. Appeal to the intellect here by incorporating applicable statistics, case studies and testimonials that speak to the relevance of your brand in the market and give your story backbone and validity.

Related: Time to Hire or Time to Fire? How to Rank Employees to Identify Low and High Performers

Selling point #5: Media-friendly assets

Lastly, don't underestimate the value of supplying the media with eye-catching, user-directed assets that have been custom-tailored to present your business in its best possible light, in its most irresistible packaging. You're appealing to the media's sensibilities here with materials that serve as excellent resources to supplement and support the pieces you're hoping they'll write or air.

I recommend creating a media kit that includes high-resolution images, print-ready logo formats, links to video content, key points that make you stand out and any other pertinent information that will infuse journalists' articles with details and descriptions exclusive to your brand. Then, when requests for interviews start coming in, be responsive and make yourself easily available. The objective for brand pitches — for any kind of pitch, really — is to snag the media's interest in further exploring your brand. When you get them on the line with your hook, the sale has been made!

Emily Reynolds Bergh

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder at R Public Relations Firm

Emily Reynolds Bergh — vintage-shoe hoarder, cycling junkie, & lover of pink drinks — is a marketing & PR pro with 15+ years of experience under her belt. Now the founder & owner of the award-winning R Public Relations based in New York, she’s been featured in numerous publications & podcasts.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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