Press for Tennis Clubs -The Ultimate Guide

Press for Tennis Clubs

Press for tennis clubs often isn’t easy to come by. To some press, you’re just another business trying to get attention.  This guide will outline the blueprint your club needs for getting local attention.  Getting press can be difficult, but if you have a plan in place, and some insider tips, you can make it much easier on yourself.  This blog will help you create an action plan to get local press coverage.  The goal of this blog is not to have you copy and paste my examples, but to use them as guides to create your own.

I know, it can certainly be frustrating!

So, you’ve been doing some research, reading some blogs, maybe you purchased a few books on how to get press, but nothing has quite taken shape for you. It’s common, don’t worry. you’ve looked at blogs on how to get press and are questioning if their tactics may work.  The problem is tons of other people have already read those same resources, so everyone is doing those same recommendations. What you need is a fresh approach. That is why I outline below a skeleton template for you to copy and with a bit of creativity, you can form your own unique press outreach.

How to use this guide

If you take nothing away from this guide, take away this, you have to make your pitch to the press unique.  We will provide you with templates, but you have to alter them to suit your needs. Getting press for tennis clubs does take some manual work, but it will be worth it in the end.

Takeaways for this blog will be:

  • Learn to identify press contacts
  • Learn to identify the press you should be reaching out to
  • Learn how to find their e-mail using freely available tools
  • Learn the most time and cost effective methods to contacting the correct journalist
  • Learn to measure which emails are getting the most replies
  • Learn what to write once you get a reply

Sound good? Let’s get to learning!

First things first, let’s find out who we should be contacting.

Effective and nearly free methods to contact the right journalist are right at your fingertips.  But, let’s keep this blog simple and pointed in one direction.

The first thing you’ll want to do is identify the right journalists.  For this, we will use the greatest aggregator of information mankind has ever seen…..Google.  Go to your competing clubs website and see what kind of press they have received, or go to Google.com/news and start typing in some tennis related terms.  Click on the results that could be relevant to your club. Find the journalist and/or publication that wrote that article.  Note the results on an Excel spreadsheet.: Column A and B will be the first name and last name respectively. Column C will be the publication the article was mentioned on. For the rest of the columns, note any other information that is relevant to you.  You will understand this spreadsheet method very shortly, but this is the easiest way to set up this information.

Now it’s time to get their e-mail addresses

Obtaining a journalist’s e-mail address is quite a difficult task.  It’s often easier to reach out to them on social media.  But if really want that email there are some cool resources available to you, you might have to drop a couple bucks, but it will be worth it.  Remember that spreadsheet you’ve been working on? Great, open it up and go to LinkedIn.  Open Google Chrome, install the plug-in Aeroleads.  Go to Aeroleads.com and create an account, pay the small fee, believe me it’s worth it.

Once you have accomplished those steps, find the LinkedIn URLs of each journalist you have on your spreadsheet, and add them to the plug-in.  Aeroleads has clear instructions on how to do this.  Once all the information on your spreadsheet has been entered in Aero Leads, go to your account. The plug-in will find the email address of the press contacts using many methods.  If the person’s e-mail address is online, the plug-in will find it.  If their emails can’t be found, your best bet is to reach out to them on social media sites. Often, journalists go to great lengths to hide their emails but are very active on social media, especially Twitter.

Time vs money, the easiest ways to reach out to journalists…

First, DON’T use those email templates you have found on other blogs regarding getting press. Those long e-mails written by so-called professionals are a sure fire way to turn off any press contact.  The most effective way to get a journalist to notice your tennis club, and to respond to your email, is to make the pitch short, short, short.  Don’t waste the journalists time with conversational emails where you pretend to be their best friend. Journalists have enough people trying to be their friends, they don’t need your friendship :). Sorry to be so harsh, but it’s true.

Now, describe your tennis club in just one sentence. This can be a simple value proposition.  Make sure your value proposition is perfect. If you don’t have a value prop, let us know, the marketing experts at Tennis Club Marketing definitely know the tennis industry.

The value prop should be the second sentence in your pitch.  The first sentence is an easy introduction stating who you are and the name of your tennis club.  Always personalize your email.  Now, all we have is:

—–

Hi <pres contacts name>,

 

My name is <your name>, <your position> of <Tennis Club>.

 

<Your value prop>

—–

All you’re want to do is garner interest, you’re not going in for the close. Think of it like this. When you go on a first date, you won’t want your date to ask you to marry you do you? No! At least I hope not. So why go for the close on the first time you pitch to a journalist? Take it slow.

 

To end this initial e-mail, your last sentence will give them a call to action.  Make this EASY…

—–

 

Simply reply with a yes for more info. I’m keeping this email short because I respect your time.

 

—–

 

Do you see the psychology here? You’re giving them a simple yes or no option.  The last sentence shows them how much you respect their time because you appreciate how busy they are.  I can’t tell you how many journalists have responded with accolades for this short and to the point pitch.

 

The last part of your pitch should simply be your signature.  Include a link to your website and your signature.

 

Sounds good Mike, what about the most important part of the email, the subject line?

If you ask 20 experts you’ll get 90 different answers on what the subject line should say.  There is no one right answer. However, the let’s start with what not to do. Do not do the following:

  • Do not put Re: in the subject line. This indicates, falsely, that there was a previous conversation to your email. This automatically puts the journalist’s guard up and makes you not trusted. NOT a good first impression.
  • Do not type long playful subject lines. Journalists don’t have time decipher your attempt at creativity and playfulness.
  • No names in the subject line, that just reeks of spam.

I’ve tried dozens of subject line variations and the best results are ones that are truthful and short. The subject line should simply state what you want, like: “coverage for <publication>”.

Test, Test, Test

Now you’ll want to do some testing.  Most people don’t know how to test properly, so they analyze data incorrectly, thus coming to false conclusions.  The correct way to A/B test is to test only one variance.  If you want to test the performance of two emails, you only change one sentence, or even word, and then test the response rate between the two.  By changing any more than that, you don’t know what the cause of the variance is. Get it?  So test a variance of the second sentence (the value prop).  Another option is to test only the subject line differences.

Oh, and it goes without saying, don’t send the journalists an email from a mass email program (i.e Mail Chimp).  Can you say “response rate ZERO!”. You want to send them individual emails, one from your work extension, not a free Gmail or Yahoo account.

Oh my god, they responded, now what!?

The best option here is a phone call if the journalist’s phone number was in their signature, or if they are local, an offer for a free lunch.

In Conclusion

If you follow the steps in this blog, you will definitely get press coverage.  Getting press for tennis clubs isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality. There’s no easy, sure-fire template for getting press.  It takes a mix of creativity, time and work, but the results can be fantastic.  Best of luck.