My father gave my brother $1 for every A he got in school. When I asked him if I could get the same, he said he’d go broke. Regardless of payment, I worked toward straight A’s grade-school through college. I always worried about making the grade. Today, in public relations, ‘making the grade’ means top tier editorial media coverage. If you’re seeking your aha moment about how to score media coverage for yourself, today you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share with you secrets behind my Daily Mail score in London for Wasabi Publicity client Kailen Rosenberg.

Need your marketing aha? Well, here’s your class syllabus this Fall for great media coverage:

Class 1: Create an online press kit complete with images, bio, past media coverage and story ideas. Here’s the one my team did for Kailen Rosenberg before we pitched the UK media.

Class 2: From your book, sound bites, stories, statistics and summaries, create a pitch with several options. We took ideas from our client’s book, Real Love Right Now, which was re-released summer 2015.

Class 3: Mail, email, phone or Tweet your pitch to media friends. We sent a pitch on Kailen’s behalf to all London media.

Class 4: Respond to all media immediately. They are on deadline and cannot afford for you to get back to them tomorrow; they need to hear from you today. In fact, as soon as the Daily Mail wrote to me, I got back to them within the hour (every time they wrote). If you don’t have time to respond that quickly, hire a publicist.

Marketing today isn’t hard. People just seem to make it hard. It boils down to a few basic text book chapters: 1) paid media (aka advertising), 2) owned media (aka websites & social media accounts) and 3) earned media (aka news articles that include a mention of you, like these with Kailen.) The first two chapters you control. The third chapter is the interactive class, or field trip (of sorts) and you have no control over that. If they mention your website, great! If they don’t, be sure not to scold the media for it. Editors and bureau chiefs have final say. It may not even be up to the journalist interviewing you. Consider it part of the PR game you play.

If you want to rule the school and make the grade, polish your paid and owned media first. That way all your messaging is clean and as you like it. The media will pull from your website, social media, online press kit in addition to your interview. This way, when you venture out into the community and share your news with media friends, you’ll be ready to toss your hat in the air, too. If you follow what you’ve learned in this class, you too, will be bringing home a media report card worthy of financial reward. (Think this blog post was a bit cheesy? Hey. Back-to-school angles this time of year always cool. Use it. Or lose it.)