- Gaining press coverage can feel time-consuming and unrewarding.
- Yet, press coverage is one of the most under-appreciated promotional and marketing tools for workspace operators and it should be part of a marketing strategy.
- Cat Johnson’s upcoming free webinar will focus on PR strategies that can strengthen coworking brands, including how to gain press coverage.
Let’s talk press.
If your instant reaction is “Ugh”, read on.
Gaining press coverage can feel time-consuming and unrewarding. Unless you have time on your hands and a network of PR contacts, all too often it results in dead ends.
But it’s not just about ‘who you know’.
PR and media coverage is a strategy, which means it can be learned.
Help is at hand in the form of a free webinar on Friday January 29, hosted by coworking content marketer Cat Johnson. The latest in Cat’s hugely popular Convo series focuses on ‘PR Strategies to Strengthen Your Coworking Brand’, featuring Cat’s own tried-and-tested press coverage tips along with those of her guest experts.
In addition, Convo participants will have the chance to ask questions and gain valuable knowledge from others during the session.
In this Q&A with Allwork.Space, Cat offers a flavour of what to expect, including the value of personal outreach and how to make that first contact.
Allwork.Space: Let’s start with the basics. Why is it important for spaces to focus on press? Why not spend that time on sales or marketing instead?
Cat Johnson: Rather than thinking of it as an instead, think of it as an also thing. Press coverage is one of the most under-appreciated promotional and marketing tools for workspace operators and it should be part of a marketing strategy.
Operators think they need to wait until they win an award or celebrate the 10th anniversary of their space to reach out to local press. But they overlook the fact that publications and media outlets need interesting stories to cover and workspaces are full of interesting stories about entrepreneurs, the future of work, workspace wellness, community, social justice and equity, and so much more.
Allwork.Space: What are some of your trusted ways to attract press attention?
Personal, professional outreach with a solid press release. It’s a basic skill, but so many operators shy away from it because they’re not quite sure how to approach writing a press release for their space.
Allwork.Space: What are some basic tips for writing a good press release?
The trick with press releases is to make it easy for the outlet to immediately see the hook and relevant information. Don’t assume they’ll dig for more information than you provide. They likely won’t. If you don’t catch their attention, the email gets deleted.
Editor’s tip: Cat runs a course for coworking operators that specialises in writing and formatting press releases. Check it out here: How to Write a Press Release
Allwork.Space: How should operators approach press contacts (eg. is a call better than an email blast?) and should they follow up?
The idea is not to get coverage once, the idea is to stay on the media’s radar so you become a source of information and insight, and your space is positioned and known locally. So stay in communication with the outlets.
If you have a big announcement coming, give them a heads-up in advance; if you’re developing resources to help entrepreneurs this year, let them know what you’re working on.
If you have a personal contact, calls can be good, but writers, producers and editors are busy and, at some point, they’ll need the information. So if you lead with a call, have a follow-up press release and information ready to send.
Allwork.Space: How often should operators push news out there? Is it only when they have something newsworthy to share, or should they do it regularly, say every month?
As I mentioned, stay on their radar. But beware that if you have prime coverage, such as the cover of your alt-weekly paper or a news segment, you’re not going to get that positioning for some time. Choose wisely and strategically and save your big PR pushes for your biggest news and projects.
Allwork.Space: What will workspace owners learn in the upcoming Coworking Convo?
They’ll learn a lot about workspace-specific PR strategies and angles. I’m excited to hear from our guests, who are all operators and entrepreneurs experienced with requesting—and getting—quality press coverage. We have Amanda Munday from The Workaround, Felena Hanson from HeraHub, Bruce Montgomery from The Entrepreneur Success Program, and Dana Berggren from The Coop. It should be a really good, in-depth conversation.
Join Cat’s upcoming Coworking Convo here: Convo: PR Strategies to Strengthen Your Coworking Brand