Would you or your company like to get a nice mention in the press? Look no further, here’s how I got a mention in one of Britain’s oldest and best selling newspapers, The Times. I will explain how you can put yourself in the line of a journalist looking for their next story.

It all begins with hard graft

The hardest part about being mentioned in the newspaper is actually doing all that work that leads up to a reporter finding you somewhere – no surprise there! It certainly helps to stay visible and on the radar of key influencers that might have connections with the media, but any PR person can tell you it’s nigh on impossible to get a reporter from a respectable publication to write about you, just for the sake of it. All you really can do is to keep putting out valuable and interesting information in the ether and hopefully it will be picked up. I wasn’t looking for a mention in the press but I was obviously doing something interesting enough to stand out a bit.

I do quite a lot of blogging, lots of tweeting and I’m fairly active on social networking in general. This didn’t actually help me being found, what worked was organizing an event and listing it on LinkedIn…

The LinkedIn London event got picked up

We run this bi-monthly meetup called LinkedIn London which is a place for us to spread the gospel around LinkedIn and its many uses in business. As we deliver regular LinkedIn workshops to companies I tend to get many similar questions on how to use LinkedIn properly, this meetup is where I can share the best practice to anyone who is interested. The event is listed both on the Meetup site itself and I always make sure to list it on LinkedIn.

The reporter from The Times was surfing in the Events section on LinkedIn and stumbled across the meetup. He sent a message to me asking if he could come round and see what it was all about. I said yes of course, but be aware that it’s a free meetup held upstairs in a Holborn bar so don’t expect anything too fancy!

The interview was carried out

The reporter and photographer turned up on time for the event, we had a good chat about what the meetup is all about and what people come to learn. The angle they were looking at is the fact that this meetup takes LinkedIn networking full circle; it’s face-to-face networking that was initiated online. Most people at the event were interviewed and two or three got mentioned in the article in the end. I found myself asking the man from The Times lots of questions about the winds of change in journalism, how reporters work on their personal brands and of course how they use social media. That will be a blog post for another week…

The article was published

In order to actually read this article I had to get an online subscription to The Times as they are behind a paywall nowadays. So I found myself looking out for it every other day and after a couple of weeks it was up. The article is very well written by Mike Pattenden and here’s an extract of my mention:

You can read the article in its entirety over at the Link Humans blog.

The results

I have of course made sure to send this article to quite a few people who all agreed it’s great PR. We have had a number of enquiries and pieces of business as a direct result of this article, clearly indicating the power of being mentioned in the traditional media. Not only is being mentioned in ‘old’ media useful, it also reaches another demographic – people that read the paper instead of checking Twitter on the train in the morning for instance. So all in all, a very interesting experience and I hope this has inspired you to get a mention somewhere in the media, it’s really worth it!

What are your best tips to get a mention in the newspaper?