I bet you’d love your medical device story picked up by The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Huffington Post, WebMD, and the like.
Of course, I’m talking about the online versions. And online, there’s only one currency.
So why might the Journal pick up your story?
- You might have someone like Chris Gale to help you. (He prepared a great “cheat sheet,” email me if you want a copy.)
- You might have a connection at the Journal.
- You might write your own press release and hope it gets picked up.
But even if you know Chris, someone at the Journal, AND write a press release, you’re going to need a hook. Something to attract eyeballs and clicks for the Journal.
Consider the following tactics I picked up from “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” an excellent but nefarious book.
1. Target the feeder blogs.
The Wall Street Journal must feed “the insatiable beast” with more and more content.
With compressed margins and fewer employees, online publications need pre-packaged stories and synopses to expedite their time-to-publication. Figure out what blogs and publications Journal editors read and target those. If your story is popular on one of those blogs, you have a better chance The Journal will see it and cover it.
2. Use a loaded-question headline.
Remember the click. Clicks are the only way publications can sell advertising and stay in business. You have fractions of a second to catch the scanning reader’s attention and the headline determines whether s/he’ll click through to read more.
Gawker writer Brian Moylan once said the key is to “get the whole story into the headline but leave out just enough that people will want to click.” I believe him.
3. Consider some chocolate chips.
Let’s face it: Most medical device marketing is plain-vanilla boring. Isn’t there any way you can add some chocolate chips to the story and stay within your company’s guidelines?
I’m not talking about being reckless or making up a new indication for your device. But you can probably add some spice to your editorial and still keep your job.
Which headline would garner more clicks about automated external defibrillators?
Billy Mays Died From Cardiac Arrest
– or –
Billy Mays: His Cause of Death
4. Go rogue.
I actively dislike this strategy because it is dishonest. But it’s done. So I’m sharing it for your general knowledge, not your application.
Those feeder blogs you targeted in suggestion number one? They hate silence. From “Trust,”
… Posts that don’t generate follow-up commentary are dead in the link economy.
… No comments, no links, no traffic, no money.
So the logic goes, if it’s comments they want, give ’em comments … even if it comes from bogus accounts creating false controversy to get the comment count up.
From my LinkedIn group, I know this phenomenon all too well. Comments beget comments. There’s a ‘social proof‘ in the number of comments: If 108 people took the time to say something here, it must be relevant.
To the publisher, a lack of comments may signal a less interesting topic, which may curtail how much more “ink” it gets in the future.
So, how do YOU get the coverage you need?