The front page of a major newspaper or a magazine cover is the holy grail for many businesses. The allure of notoriety, big business and untold riches is all there, not to mention that teeth gnashing envy of their competitors.
In reality it’s time to ask whether you’ll really get what you want with that coveted coverage, and maybe, just maybe, you’re better off without it. Here are several reasons to think twice about spending time and money going after front page coverage:
1) You Lose Control of the Story: Remember, it’s the reporter’s story, not yours. You may want to talk about your new product, but the reporter’s story might be about how your new product doesn’t work. Once you’ve begun the process you can’t just hit the reset button.
2) Good News Doesn’t Sell: Ever heard the saying, “You bleed, you lead.” There’s truth in that old newspaper chestnut that bad news is sensational, and that’s exactly why people buy newspapers. The people and companies that make the front pages are often the ones that have f*&ked up big time. You might not want to be there.
3) You’re Not As Smart As You Think: The moment you think that you can craft a story is the moment that you’ve proven that you’re not as smart as you think you are. Most journalists didn’t choose their because they couldn’t get your job. It was a conscious choice. They write more stories than you do, and do a lot more interviews too. Many if not most of them are pretty good at it, and you’re probably not going to fool them.
4) Is Anybody Out There? Newspaper and magazine circulations have been declining for years. Who’s actually going to see the story, and, assuming it’s a good story, are those really the people that you need or want to see it?
5) Reaching Your Audience Directly: Social media has made it possible for businesses to reach out directly to the people they need to reach. When you create your own content, you control the news, the story and the angle. You’re not filtering it through a reporter. What’s more, many social media platforms make it possible for you to identify and target the demographic most amenable to receiving your message. If you’re really interested in selling your product or service those are the people you need to reach.
If you’re goal in getting on the front page is to fill that spot on your trophy wall, by all means, go for it. Assuming the story is ultimately the one you’re hoping to see, it will fit right in there. If instead, your goal is to do more business and make more money, you might want to think again. Use your own content to reach out directly to people you’d like to engage.