How to get PR

This guide is based on Mixergy’s interview with Steven Le Vine.

After starting out as a lowly intern, Steven Le Vine built a successful PR firm that represents a hundred clients. It was all done by getting publicity, so we invited him to teach you how to do it.

Steven is the founder of Grapevine PR, a full-service lifestyle and entertainment public relations firm.

Here are the actionable highlights from the interview.

1. Team up with celebrities to get more exposure

Steven convinced Levi Johnston that wearing Baskit underwear in a photo shoot would grow his appeal with gay men.

Take Action:
Use social networking to find contact information for celebrities or their managers, and tell the celebrities how collaborating with your brand could help their career.


2. Tell your brand’s story to give media outlets a reason to cover it

Steven highlighted Baskit’s line of organic cotton underwear and the New York Times featured Baskit in its “Green” section.

Take Action:
Write pitches that explain how your brand’s story fits a publication’s theme.


3. Focus on influential media outlets to reach more prospects

Steven says that a brand trying to gain industry credibility should pitch to trade publications instead of local newspapers.

Take Action:
Find out what your target customers read and watch, and pitch stories to those media channels.


4. Create a media list to pitch stories to those who are most likely to give you exposure

Before pitching a story to the New York Times, Steven would get a list of its managing editors, deputy editors, and journalists with the subjects they cover.

Take Action:
Search online for journalists’ beats and contact information, or pay a service like Cision to make a list for you.


5. Pitch a big story to the top media outlets first to try to get wider exposure

If a TV show signed a famous actor, Steven would pitch an exclusive story to Variety or Hollywood Reporter.

Take Action:
Offer breaking news to large media outlets before sharing it with smaller ones.


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6. Be persistent to show journalists you’re serious about your pitch

Steven pitched a story to the Wall Street Journal and followed up once every week or two for a couple of months until the paper ran the story.

Take Action:
If you don’t hear back after you pitch a story, send another email offering to arrange interviews or provide photos.


7. Win coverage in small media outlets to get the attention of larger outlets

Steven built a niche film director’s reputation by pitching his story to small magazines and then to Hollywood Reporter.

Take Action:
Pitch stories to blogs and regional papers, and approach larger outlets once you’ve gained exposure.


Want to make sure you get results?

Written by Sarah Brodsky, based on production notes by Jeremy Weisz

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