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Hanson Green – How do we get our director featured in national press?

Victoria Tomlinson posted this on

Our client, Hanson Green – leading boardroom recruiters – asked us to get national coverage on the appointment of Nick Aitchison as director. This is how we got coverage in the Telegraph and other key media.

1.       Agree the media

We targeted key media, including the Sunday Times, Telegraph, City am, FT.  For an appointment story we were setting the bar high – this was highly ambitious since the company is not quoted or a household name.

2.       Find an angle

We interviewed Nick on the telephone to explore his views on current boardroom issues and his background as recent chair of Leander Club, the UK’s leading rowing club.  Henley Regatta was due to start – and this gave us an angle, looking at parallels between sport and boardrooms.  

3.       Make a topical story newsworthy

The Henley angle was good, but a former sporting chairman joining a recruitment business is not a story on its own.

We used our journalist skills to develop the story, interviewing Nick and researching what the media is currently interested in.  We tried an Olympics angle – but the Sunday Times had recently done something similar.  We finally came up with how businesses need to look more widely for boardroom talent – and showed how Leander Club had done this successfully in the sporting world.

4.       A press photo is worth a thousand words

A good press photo is worth a thousand words.  We researched the Club’s images and briefed a local photographer – it is worth investing in the cost of a press photographer.

5.       Selling to the media

Most journalists want to see a press release so they can quickly gauge the story.  This needs to cover the 5 Ws – who, what, why, when, where – and a ‘so what’.  We then picked up the phone and emailed individual journalists to ‘sell in’ an exclusive with a target publication.  You only get one chance and you have to know that journalist and what they write about inside out.

Louise Peacock at the Telegraph was interested.  She wanted to interview Nick herself and we set up the details and briefed Nick.

6.       Sending out the press release

We knew the article was due to appear on the Thursday of Henley Regatta Week.  We then tailored each press release to different media, changing the first paragraph to fit into each target media.  While we pay a fortune for automated media lists, this tailoring is critical to success.

7.       The results

We achieved our tough target!  The story appeared in the Telegraph and City am plus a number of other regional and trade press – and relationships have been built for Nick to develop in future with other journalists.

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