Nikki Woods is a media expert, best-selling author and motivational speaker as well as the former senior producer of the nationally-syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show, an urban radio show that reaches more than 8 million people each day. Her company,, helps speakers, experts, entrepreneurs and authors get the visibility they need, to build the businesses they want that generates the revenue they love.

Why is it so important for a business to get coverage by the press?

Nikki: Establishing yourself and your business as an expert in your field builds confidence with customers and clients. It’s also a great form of free advertising.

What are some tips for getting your business in the news?

Nikki: Here are a few tips to get your company noticed by the press:

  • Create a media contact list specific to your location and industry.
  • Send targeted pitches to your media contact list.
  • Follow up on your pitches.
  • Get involved in your community.
  • Engage on social media.
  • Stay current on trends and use ‘newsjacking’ when possible.
  • Keep your website current and include a media section.
  • Attend networking events.

How do you build a media contact list?

Nikki: The first step is to define your audience so you know who to target. Then find local and national media outlets that fit your target audience. It’s best to look at the type of stories they cover and make sure it matches what you want to pitch to them.

Do a search for all types of media—television stations, radio, podcasts, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Look for media in your surrounding area. Often, they want stories from local businesses so this might be the easiest way to gain press coverage.

Tell me about pitching to a media contact list.

Nikki: Reporters get hundreds of pitches a day. Write your pitch so that it has an engaging angle and will get noticed. Don’t try to sell yourself or your business. Instead, focus on establishing yourself as an expert by giving the reporter the information they need for their story.

The best advice is to find the right person to send your pitch to. For example, a newspaper may have a couple of people who handle the business section, but there might be one person who handles the part that would be the best fit for you and your business.

So, it sounds like knowing a reporter gets your pitch more noticed. How do you build a relationship with them?

Nikki: Make sure to follow media outlets and reporters on social media. “Like” and share their stories. Leave comments about articles that show your expert opinions. Invite the media to any of your business events. Also, attend networking events whenever possible.

What kind of networking events should you attend?

Nikki: Check out your local chamber of commerce or industry associations. Often, they have networking events that local media will attend. You can even find them by searching through Facebook events. Carry your business cards and pass them out!

If you don’t get a response from a pitch, when should you send a follow-up?

Nikki: If you are going to get a reply, it’s often because of a follow-up email. Wait three or four days and send a simple email reiterating the points of the original pitch. It’s best to keep the email short. You can send another one a few days after, but don’t bombard them with follow-up emails. You can always send an email with a different angle later.


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If you’re looking to be seen as an expert in the media, then check out – a website dedicated to pairing up experts with the online media outlets who need them.

Written by : Nikki Woods

I teach entrepreneurs and influencers how to grow their business to 6 figures+ by leveraging the media and monetizing their expertise.

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