21 Ways to get Featured in the Media

Posted on July 8, 2011

Your business: front and center in the newspaper, feature, on prime-time TV or out there where everyone can see you. It’s what dreams are made of.

Media coverage can make or break a business, but landing any bit of coverage is the hard part. From this list of 21 free or low-cost ideas to get featured, concentrate on two or three that fit your business and your personality and go after them with everything you have.

1. Do Something Remarkable

It goes without saying that remarkable businesses are the ones that get featured every day. They’re on the edge doing amazing things that people want to talk about. Don’t follow the rules if you want to be remarkable. Do your own thing, but be prepared to deal with the consequences.

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2. Build Relationships with the Media

You wouldn’t like it if someone you didn’t know asked you to give something to them. Build a relationship by following media people on twitter and facebook. Comment on their stories, get to know them, and invite them to coffee. It’s important to work with a communications agency in order to build these relationships.

3. Ask

Is it really that easy? I’m afraid it is. If you know a reporter and have a good idea, ask them to run it.

4. Highlight a Story About Someone Else

My business landed on the front page of our newspaper a few years ago because I highlighted a story about a family I was working with. Self-promotion never makes a good story.

5. Send a Press Release

Press releases are old school but they’re still great ways to announce events and changes within your company. A press release was submitted for an event I lead and it landed me on the front page of our local newspaper.

6. Take a Reporter to Lunch

Every day journalists need to take in information. Take a few to lunch every month and ask them what type of stories they’re looking for. Don’t forget to buy their lunch.

7. Buy Your Way In

For two years I hosted a radio show on a local station. How’d I get in? I bought a full hour and sold commercial breaks. I created my own stories, ran whatever I wanted, and made money from the advertising.

8. Work With a Charity

Two years ago I hosted a few online events and donated 100% of the proceeds to a charity. The media picked up on it because it was a great cause.

9. Host an Event

Events are noteworthy and media loves to talk about them. Create a remarkable event by bringing influential people together and not charging for it.

10. Work with a Celebrity

Celebrities have been known to endorse products when they get them free, which carries a lot of weight. You don’t need Britney Spears but do find someone your target market identifies with.

11. Tell a Story

If you don’t have a story, people won’t care. Make it emotional and reporters will come running.

12. Start Small with Local Outlets

If you’re just starting out, CNN shouldn’t be your target. Start with media outlets in your town, even if it’s small, and leverage the promotion you get for bigger things.

13. Help a Reporter

Join HARO for free and you’ll be notified a few times a day when reporters need help with a story.

14. Create a Press Kit

Along with your About page, media people are looking for press kits on your website.

15. Hire a Publicist

Publicists know media and good publicists have contacts around the world. Don’t hire a mediocre publicists; find one with connections.

16. Sponsor an Event

Event promoters are great about getting press. When you sponsor an event you get to go along for the ride.

17. Personalize Your Pitch

No one like a “Dear Sir:”. After you find out what type of stories a reporter likes make your pitch personal to them.

18. Comment on Blogs

I’ve seen journalists mention people who have commented on blog posts in stories. A friend of mine even ended up on CNN by simply commenting on a post they made.

19. Be Helpful

Some journalists like to ask questions online. Follow them and respond when you can. I’ve been highlighted in Success Magazine this way.

20. Become an Expert

You’re an expert if you know more than someone else. If you’re in business you should be an expert, so proclaim it from the rooftops. Chris Brogan is an expert at social media and he’s told everyone. As a result he writes monthly for Entrepreneur magazine.

21. Pitch to the Right Outlet

You won’t even hear a response if you pitch that wrong story to an outlet. Learn the type of stories they like to run and only pitch those.

16 Replies to "21 Ways to get Featured in the Media"

  • Brian
    July 8, 2011 (6:49 pm)

    Nice list Justin. Some nice ‘outside the box’ ideas here (note I’m implementing #18 right now). #19 and #20 really resonate me as they fit well with my goals. #1 is inspirational (a place to set the bar), while several more are good food for thought.

    Thanks for sharing this list!


  • Phil
    July 9, 2011 (10:35 pm)

    Some of those ideas are great. I love #3 & #6 and have a contact that I’ve never thought to ask.

    Thanks for this – cheers.

    • Justin Lukasavige
      July 11, 2011 (4:50 pm)

      Nice, Phil. Feel it out and let us know if it leads anywhere. It’ll likely take a bit of time.

  • Rob
    July 10, 2011 (8:10 am)


  • Andrew @ Blogging Guide
    July 11, 2011 (3:51 am)

    Being in media is a great exposure… and I strongly agree that doing something remarkable, good or bad will lead you to that. But who wants bad publicity, right?

    • Justin Lukasavige
      July 11, 2011 (4:52 pm)

      I definitely don’t want bad press, Andrew, but depending on how bad, I’ll take it over none at all. :)

  • William Tha Great
    July 11, 2011 (8:14 pm)

    Hey Justin,

    Thanks for the awesome article!

    These are 21 wonderful ways. Some of which I already know and some of wish I don’t know. Commenting helps get your name and brand around. I even know some people that became so good at commenting that people wrote articles about them.

    I have ever been that good at blog commenting, but I do my share here and there. ( :

    Doing something awesome is the best way in my opinion.

    Just my 2 cents.

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • Justin Lukasavige
      July 12, 2011 (8:46 am)

      I know your name for sure because of commenting, William. It’ll pay off!

  • Open Source Customization
    July 12, 2011 (5:58 am)

    Read the post
    keep posting

  • steven hutchinson
    July 21, 2011 (5:08 pm)

    Sound advice

  • AlessaTravelTip
    August 25, 2011 (9:06 am)

    awesome post! thanks for the tips!


  • PubliSeek
    September 28, 2012 (6:27 am)

    Good tips. But do NOT send press releases. They cost money and no one reads them.

    Here’s a cheap and lazy way to get in the media: follow @twitter-121495002:disqus 😉

    Yes, it’s getting easier and easier to get PR. We’re a free service that is tweeting out hundreds of media opportunities per week to help you get featured in the press. Including the Huffington Post, CNN, BBC, Venture Beat, etc.

    No, we don’t care if you register or not. Just go to http://twitter.com/PubliSeek and press the follow button.

  • 21 Ways To Get Featured In The Media | Cheap Filmmaking
    January 20, 2013 (1:46 am)

    […] Check out the full story over at Epic Launch […]

  • Mathew
    September 11, 2013 (12:42 am)

    And of course, my personal favorite – just be lucky…


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