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Old 11-17-2003, 06:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 116
Default Media Attention

While we have only flirted with media attention in the past 5 years we have never got any great media attention.

Our site has been open on computer screens during local (one national) news stories before, but the story never mentioned us other than that.

We have been in a few print newsletters, journals, but not any in our target audience.

From those of you that have been in the spotlight, I ask:

How do we gain media attention without doing something insane. Do you send out press releases often? Do you ask media companies if they would do stories on you/your site?

I know having a unique services helps, but after 5 years our service may appear no longer unique in a general prospective. In specifics we are like no other site on the web.

The next 3-6 months we will be investing more money in our site than we have in the past 2 years combined to try to gain the advantage and make the break. We plan to sponsor a fairly large concert tour directed at teenagers early next year. Hopefully this will spark some media interest..

Any tips or ideas fellow publishers, on gaining media interest/attention?

Our site: http://www.teenspot.com/
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:39 PM   #2

Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 9,507

Press releases are definitely the easiest route. Since smaller papers are often hungry for stories of local interest, developing a release that outlines where you are based, etc, is probably more likely to gain attention than a vanilla release promoting the event in isolation.

It's also worth targeting niche computing and music magazines with varying releases. Timing is everything insofar as attracting attention from these is concerned. One of my sites has been written up in this month's Netguide magazine in Australia, which is the most widely distributed net-oriented mag in the country, because it was of topical interest to an editor who was planning a feature on Christmas sites for the month.

Anyway, talk to a few editors in the space, find out if they have any special features planned for coming months and see whether your concert fits in with any of these. Even if it doesn't, craft a few nice releases and distribute these at various stages in the lead-up to the event, before coordinating with the event managers for the final blitz as tickets go on sale.

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Old 11-18-2003, 11:27 AM   #3
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It's hard to get press attention for a website these days. Mostly because there are so many websites that little is considered "novel" at this point. I did hear a recent NPR piece on Friendster which was interesting but you need to have site that gets huge in a hurry to get that kind of press. You might try prominently listing contact info on your site for reporters who are looking for quotes. I suspect the best way to get your name out is to have banners hanging around events that are going to get press coverage but this type of sponsorship is far from cheap.

Before spending too much time and effort going after press coverage you might want to consider if it's really worth it. I've had my site reviewed in online publications, print magazines and mentioned on nationally syndicated radio all without any noticable increase in traffic. I'm sure it all helps but didn't yield (for me anyway) the kind of spike you might expect.
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:38 PM   #4
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It has always been luck, or perseverance for me take your pick. We have never directly tried but it has happened.

But the traffic can be good and bad. Got a direct mention msnbc for a product, resulted in over 5000 clicks to date, 3 sales. But now I am in MSN's search, so it was probably worth it.

Got wide press coverage for my site about an arrested politician and our selling t-shirts about it. Sold quite well and even got a phone call from mom excited to see my name in print, then visiting the site and asking when I will ever grow up...

Other sites have been mentioned in magazines which resulted in only a little extra traffic, but we scanned the mentions and use them to attract advertisers.

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Old 11-18-2003, 01:03 PM   #5
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I tend to to agree with jnestor. Make sure your Media Page is simple, devoid of adverts, and includes phone numbers for the Press to reach you.

I'm not sure if any of my stories will help you:

1. See: http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/sh...t&pagenumber=3

I just called Leslie on the phone because I wanted to help our members with corrections to her article. It was fun and I enjoyed it but it never led to a measurable spike.

2. When the TheftWare/Scumware issue broke a few years ago it was led by the late Jim Wilson. I just did some stuff that he was not doing (screen caps and bending merchants arms ) I did this as a service to the Community and an active member called me who was a member of the press and offered to email his list of contacts about StopScum. This led to some mentions in the press, a phone interview with the press, and visits by the FBI and FTC to see the screen captures but never translated into a measurable spike which produced more members.

3. A few weeks ago these forums were slashdotted. We had a thread about the retired Spam king Sanford Wallace and he was posting. See:


While it was nice to see 50 geeks all reading this thread, it never led to more members and the spike in traffic only lasted about 6 hours.

Edit: Yes, I see Chets post and I think something along the lines of "As seen on NBC, CBS, bla bla bla is a great idea and does enhance your image in some way which helps credibility and sales.

Good luck

Last edited by Steve_S; 11-18-2003 at 01:15 PM.
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