Every brand engaging in a strategic PR program hopes to land a feature story.  Running at least one page, if not multiple pages, a feature story is distinguished by the fact that the majority of the story is about your brand.

Feature stories are important because they provide a larger editorial format for telling your brand’s story.  Because of this, feature articles provide significant ROI.  Moreover, feature story articles can be used across multiple marketing platforms — they should be posted to your website, circulated internally, distributed to your sales team and promoted on social media.

Yet successfully landing a feature story requires several important steps.  Here are four tips to keep in mind when it comes to securing a feature story:

No.1:  Have a Solid Article Pitch – The first step is formulating your ideal article. What is that you want to say and what is the article you envision?  Is it a thought piece about where your industry is heading? Is it an article about your company’s amazing growth?  Once you know the focus, you then need to create a compelling pitch.  Your pitch should be short and on-point. It needs to be compelling enough for a publication or a reader to say, “This is of value; I learned something by reading this article.”

This multipage feature story showcases how Integra Seating is expanding to meet customers’ needs.

No. 2:  Know the Publication You’re Pitching – PR pros should know the publication they are pitching inside and out. This includes not only the editorial staff and what they cover, but also the publication’s editorial mission and format.  Who are their readers? What is the publication’s service to its readers? What sections are a good fit for the article idea you’re pitching?  If you make a pitch to a publication without doing your editorial research, you may be doing more harm than good; you’ve wasted an editor’s time by pitching them an idea they could never use.

With a compelling pitch and lots of great photos, we secured a feature story on J+J Flooring’s 60-year anniversary.

No. 3:  Have Your Experts, Content and Photos Ready – If an editor accepts your pitch, you’ll need to have everything in place. This includes resource experts – both inside and outside of your company – who can be interviewed and provide commentary to the publication.  You should also have plenty of factual information on hand that supports the points you made in your pitch.  And of course, you should be ready to provide photos such as executive headshots, your products, your facilities, etc.

Although not in the format of a traditional story, this full-page article shines a big spotlight on an important American Seating product

No. 4:  Be Flexible – An editor may want to take your pitch in a different direction based on what he/she thinks is best for the publication. The editor may also want to have the article come out a date other than what you may have wanted or expected. Or, they may have a different idea on the length and format of the article.  Either way, it’s important to remain flexible and open to ideas based on what the editor may want.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, a solid PR strategy should always include feature story pitching.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to achieve a feature story for your brand, please contact Matt Spaulding at matts@spauldingcommunications.com

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