OMG, Getting National Media Coverage Is So Easy!

Sweeney Kent State UniversityHere’s the thing about national media coverage being easy to get.  Anyone who knows anything about publicity and media relations knows that this is a big, fat lie. Unfortunately, there are way too many people who don’t know anything about publicity and media relations.

So I would like to offer my top 5 reasons why getting national media coverage as not as easy as it sounds.

1. Unless you are Apple – and even sometimes that doesn’t help – you are one of several million people trying to get national media coverage.  It’s like the lottery or Las Vegas, the odds are decidedly stacked against you.

2. That new product or service your company just created – the portable air conditioner or the new Zombieville app – may seem to you to be the coolest thing since sliced bread, but a professional journalist will see it for what it really is, and in most cases that is “just another product or service that’s already been covered.”

3. You probably think that because your company spends a lot of money on advertising, a lot of publishers owe you a lot of favors. Think again.

4. Some people are under the impression that altruism (being a hospital or university or non-profit) is a sure bet to get big hits with the big media.  But I assure you, no self-respecting editor or reporter gives two hoots about your organizational status.  If it ain’t big news, it doesn’t get covered.

5. And then there are those who mistakenly think the national media cannot resist a great consumer product story, as if to say the media cannot discern between a newsworthy product and the new and improved floor cleaner you just launched. But in the words of  Bruce Springsteen, “The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive.”

My advice to those who believe it is easy to secure national media coverage is rather simple: walk the walk. Or as they say in Missouri, “show me.”

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.