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Getting Your Project Featured in Tier 1 Media: a PR pro’s guide 

Do you want to have your project featured in the top-tier media headlines? Most likely,  the answer is a ‘yes’: in fact, it’s one of the most popular requests we’re getting from our clients.

Most Tier 1 outlets have been around for several years and have gained high authority in their sector. With over one million monthly traffic, trusted organic publications, few ads, and huge audiences, these outlets provide an excellent chance for businesses to maximize media exposure, raise awareness around their brand, and boost their credibility.

So how do you get your business featured in the headlines of top-echelon outlets?

5-Step Journey to Tier 1 Media Coverage

In the following sections, we’ll explore the actions you’ll have to take to get to Tier 1 media. These include:

  1. Analyzing your USPs, strengths, and weaknesses
  2. Defining audience and communication channels
  3. Setting the documentation straight
  4. Boosting the visibility of the speakers
  5. Starting with Tier 2 to pave the way to Tier 1
Analyzing Your USPs, Strengths & Weaknesses

First, you must analyze the project to highlight the main points and features. Later on, you can use those for presenting (i.e., pitching) your project to journalists — and formulating a message that will be broadcasted through their publications.

Here are some of the questions you can base your analysis on:

  • What is your project’s mission — and what niche are you targeting?
  • How do you seek to transform your sector?
  • What makes your product/service unique, and why would the end user choose it over other offers?
  • What are your strengths? How can you use them to compensate for your weak spots?

While analyzing weaknesses is something many do their best to avoid, it will prepare you for possible uncomfortable questions coming from journalists.

Defining Your Target Audience

According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, targeted campaigns perform much better than non-targeted ones in terms of ROI (42% vs. 14%). Therefore, every business must get an insight into its target audience to deliver its message to the user efficiently.

  • Define the market challenge your product/service address. What pain does it solve?
  • Identify trends and patterns by analyzing user characteristics (e.g., age, income, location)
  • Use research & data to create buyer personas
  • Analyze your competitors’ target audience to gain valuable insights

Read this article on our blog to learn more about defining your target audience.

Setting Project Documentation Straight

To get featured in top-tier media, you have to make sure you have all the documentation and a working website to meet the outlets’ requirements.

  • A pitch deck or a whitepaper that summarizes the mission and key features (and tokenomics, if applicable) and a user-friendly, fast, and attractive website with a team section are both must-haves.
  • Having a one-pager with a summary of the above may not be necessary, but it may score you some points with the journalist researching your project.
  • The project and the key speakers (the team member(s) representing your project in media, we’ll go deeper into that in the next section) should have active social media profiles.

And last but not least, we’ve found it beneficial to prepare a concise project summary and press portraits for each speaker to share with the journalists and media along with the pitches.

Speakers: Showcasing Your Expertise

The visibility of your team is a crucial part of your journey to top-tier media coverage, as it makes your project more attractive in the eyes of journalists by showcasing your expertise.

A speaker is an expert from your team who will regularly share their quotes and opinions in media and take part in interviews, so it’s crucial to pick someone who truly shares the business’ goals and vision. Most often, it’s the company’s CEO. You can have one speaker or choose a couple of persons to cover different areas of expertise: e.g., CTO for technology-focused publications and CMO for marketing-related topics.

After choosing a speaker, we advise creating their press portrait, reflecting their professional experience, past publications and events, and topics they can comment on.

Also, keep in mind your expert should be present — and active — on those social networks most popular among your audience. Here are a few tips that will help you get started with your speaker’s social media accounts (you can learn more here):

  • When posting content, focus on your views about your sector, the industry events you take part in, and the ways you evolve as a professional — everything that can highlight your expertise and growth mindset
  • Limit corporate topics to around 10% of your social media content
  • Give credit to your team’s input when relevant
  • Find the proper channels for communication and use each social media platform’s unique features for your benefit (e.g., Twitter for short updates, Instagram for visual content, YouTube for video podcasts)
Tier 2 Media: Starting Small to Grow Big 

In most cases, you’d have to work your way up to top media — and getting featured in Tier 2 outlets will take you there. Before making a publication, Tier 1 journalists will be checking your project’s and your speakers’ web presence: that’s when those publications will speak for you.

Even after making it to Tier 1, you still have to consider getting regular Tier 2 coverage, as there are simply not enough high-quality top-tier outlets to fulfill most organizations’ PR needs.

Moreover, launching Tier 1-only organic PR campaigns may create the false impression these articles were bought — thus hurting your project’s credibility without getting you even close to the results you could achieve with organic publications.

And last small tip: you don’t have to get featured in a top magazine to go viral. Top-notch content published in a small outlet is often enough for your project’s name to get all over social media.

INPUT PR & Marketing: We’re Here to Help

Sadly, unless you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 business, getting to Tier 1 media takes a lot of work and, preferably, being connected to a network of journalists & top industry media.

Feel free to contact our team of pros at Input PR, so we can leverage our experience and connections to create a custom media plan and get you the publications you desire — and deserve.