Question: What tips/tricks do you have for getting quoted by the press?
Question by: Vincent
Be an Authority
"There's little reason for anyone to quote you on any topic if you don't have any background or prestige. Make clear what you know, how you know it, and if possible, how you are uniquely qualified to know it. Then state your opinions clearly and concisely. The shorter and more helpful your words are—and if packed with information and opinion—the more often they'll be repeated."
Have a Distinct Voice
"The world is full of newspapers, magazines and websites that use the same boring jargon. Refuse to conform to media speak and stick to your own, refreshing tone when providing quotes. Reporters will get a kick out of your human-ness, and will know they can count on you for a breath of fresh air in their quote-collecting process."
Be Completely Honest
"Too many entrepreneurs feel they need to be censored to maintain their company image, but censorship only leads to boring answers and responses. When you are brutally honest and have something compelling to say, the press can't get enough of your thoughts and opinions."
Offer Story Ideas
"Getting quoted by the press starts often starts with having solid relationships with writers and reporters. Solid relationships are reciprocal. The press is always looking for compelling stories so by providing good ideas they will often reciprocate the value by quoting you on topics in which you are an authority."
Follow @Ryan Stephens
Make Friends With Writers
"Take the time to understand what writers are looking for, and then give them exactly what they need (not what you need). Always get back to a writer promptly, and once you are interviewed for one piece, let the writer know that you would be happy to help them again when they're writing about topics A, B, and C. The more you get to know them personally, the more likely they are to ping you again."
Help Them Help You!
"Over 50,000 journalists use HARO to locate experts for on-air interviews, article quotes and more. The daily email service (three times per day) brings the media to you and it's absolutely free. Choose your area(s) of expertise and respond to as many inquiries as you can to increase your chances of being quoted in the press."
Answer the Question!
"When subscription sites like HARO or ProfNET send out queries, spend more time answering the question then pitching yourself as a source. If you give a journalist what they are looking for, it is evident that you are an expert. The biggest mistake people make is spending more time pitching themselves as experts then answering what the journalist is looking for—especially if they are on deadline!"
Cite an Awesome Stat
"Come up with an awesome stat that reporters will remember and people will say "wow" when they hear it. With Entrustet, we calculated that three Facebook users die each minute, leading to confusion about what to do with online accounts when someone dies. We got picked up in hundreds of publications and the stat is now industry standard and attributed to us."
Drop a Provocative Soundbyte
"Make a statement that is authoritative as well as provocative, and that is nicely packaged so that a reporter will think of it as a gem for his story. One such "soundbyte" we like to tell reporters in reference to Her Campus is that college women want to "find a job, get a boyfriend, and lose weight" -- which is true, but it also sounds a bit shocking!"
Give Them Something Worth Quoting
"All the PR efforts in the world won’t help if you don’t have something to offer the press. Focus on industry innovations to catch their eye. Then, choose your words carefully to accurately explain the who, what, when, where, how and especially the why. Avoid shock value and stay true to your brand at all times. The exposure will follow."
Consider the Journalist
"A journalist's job is incredibly taxing. They have tight deadlines and must coordinate with multiple sources. Ask them in advance how you can prepare, then make sure you are ready. As with most any relationship, if you help a journalist do her job better, she will be more likely to advocate for you."
Provide Journalists with All the Information They Need
"Don’t just offer to be a source when responding to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) or ProfNet requests—actually send the journalist your response based on their query. Journalists are usually on a tight deadline and don’t have time to contact each potential source themselves. It’s also important that you always provide your credentials within the email and let them know how to contact you."
Be Authentically Interesting
"Too much PR-speak will get you the cold shoulder from the press. Bring a fresh perspective or an interesting aspect to the story—one that makes your company or product unique—and you will have more success being quoted or securing larger press placement."
Create a Little Controversy
"As an industry authority, if you say something that goes against the common thinking and your message is current, you have a very good chance to be quoted by the press. You will also have to sell yourself to the press or have someone do it, but the first step is to define your message and make it stand out from everyone else's."
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.