Members are more likely to join a community that increases their self-esteem.
This means they're most likely to join communities that gain frequent news coverage and have an influence in their field. Gaining publicity is a great way to create that impression. Publicity can also help you get attention of important people (key influencers, relevant companies, future media stories etc…)
To get publicity, you need 3 things:
1) Why? This involves a new angle on an existing topic. Journalists want the maximum amount of attention. You have to find something in your community that is incredibly interesting to people outside the community. Use the formula from Made To Stick, it should be something simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and explained as a simple story.
2) Why Now?. There has to be a clear 'why now?' in the story. What is the breaking research, case study, mainstream hook that makes this relevant to everybody right now?
3) Why You? Then you have to explain why you, personally you, should be the one to write the piece. What are your qualifications, experience, or story of personal relevance here?
Here's the pitch used to get this article published in The Guardian.
- What are the biggest BDSM communities and how they're reacting to 50 shades of grey. I have a good relationship with the founder of FetLife – the very biggest community.
- Why niche communities dislike mainstream attention – many want the privacy & don't want a flood of new members.
- The psychology/privacy needs required for an online community to succeed.
- Examples from other niche fields which suddenly received the mainstream spotlight after a film is made about their topic.
- How long the growth spurt from mainstream attention lasts.
- The future of small, niche, communities.