You open the newspaper and there on the first page of the home and garden section is a feature story about your competition. The story quotes your competition, discusses the great service they provide, and maybe even includes a case study or two. You ask yourself, “Why did they pick that firm instead of mine? My staff is much more qualified than the other guy’s!”

There are basically only two reasons. The first is luck. If your competition happened to grow up next door to the editor of the Daily Post, chances are excellent that the editor will think of his childhood friend first when he needs information. There’s nothing wrong with that: when reporters are looking for a reliable source, they go with someone they know. That brings us to the second – and much more significant – reason why some companies get press and others do not: effort. Getting publicity means building relationships with the media. If you understand what reporters want and need from their sources, and spend a little time and effort meeting those needs, you could find yourself the subject of the next feature story.

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