Here is an example showing how to successfully get a message (about your hostel or about anything else) into the public eye through media.
PR Hacker walks us through the success story of Klooff – a mobile application for pet enthusiasts.
What 'Making Out' in Public Teaches Us About Viral PR + Marketing: How we leveraged hot dates at the dog park into 200+ media stories in 21 countries
The main principle: create strategic context around your product.
If the media were covering the action alone (making out in public), no one would be interested. But because the action is framed in the context of the 2011 Vancouver riots, it’s incredibly newsworthy. Suddenly, everyone wants to know, "Why on earth were they making out there?"
Context is what makes your product more newsworthy, media friendly, and shareable than it would otherwise be on its own.
The context needs to be bigger than your hostel, because there is a limited audience for that. So ask yourself what could connect the niche market of hostels to something that is covered even more by the world’s top media outlets. In this example they chose romantic relationships and dating. (two things that could certainly be connected to hostels too)
Then you need to decide what story you want the media to tell.
…you need a story idea -- a suggestion for an article, column, segment, or blog post that engages a journalist more than just the average product press release.
Just because your product serves a niche market doesn’t mean that your story idea has to be niche, too.
Then they collected some data that would suit their needs by surveying 1000 people.
How to Package Data for the Media: Visualize the potential media story and gather data that will give you the story you need.
Then they started writing a pitch for the story they wanted to media to tell.
Test your story idea pitch on a smaller sample of media outlets and then go far and wide to a broader range of contacts.
PR Hacker followed these steps to get the message into the media:
- Put together a list of small media outlets, especially those that specialize in your domain (in our case, maybe outlets for hostels, accommodation, budget travel, adventure travel, small businesses, cultures, foreign languages, etc.)
- Create a few variations of your pitch, including different email subject lines and email them to around 100 small media outlets.
- Choose the pitch that received the most responses with interest and work on it to make it even better.
- Send out the winning pitch to larger, general-interest media outlets (like morning TV shows, drive-time radio shows, daily newspapers, men’s and women’s magazines, lifestyle bloggers, etc.) and thousands more media contacts.
If you get covered by influential media outlets, other media will report on the story without you having to pitch them directly.
They didn’t make the product the center of attention, but rather created a story that would be interesting to a lot of people (which revolved around the product). The story caught on, and the pet application ended up getting 20,000 users as a result. Not too bad, right?
Have any of you done something like this to promote your hostel in the media? Even on a small scale? How did it go?