As a business owner, you want as many people as possible to know who you are and what do you. Here you’ll learn strategies to put your business in the spotlight.
If you can get your business featured in newspapers, online, on radio, and on TV, it can create added awareness and credibility for your brand. Gaining good press coverage isn’t always easy, but with these tactics, you can stand out from the crowd and create buzz about your company in the news.
Cover the basics
A good first step is researching publications and news outlets that cover your industry and your local community. Build a list or database of journalists who cover these areas, include their email addresses and other contact information, and learn how to write a proper press release that includes a headline, short introduction, quotes, and tidbits that could be used in media coverage. Be sure to include the who, what, where, when, and why of your story idea in your press releases, and your title, credentials, company, and contact information.
Be a resource
Stay abreast of what’s going on in your community and industry, and keep in mind how you could contribute to news coverage. For instance, if road construction in your area is impeding foot traffic to businesses like yours, get in touch with a contact at your local news outlet and share your insights and other relevant information. If industry trends or the economy are impacting businesses like yours, pitch the situation to a business-magazine contact you’ve developed. You can sign up to receive email alerts from resources like HARO and SourceBottle, which reporters use to find sources and quotes for their stories. “The quicker you respond, the better your chances of getting coverage,” suggests Christina Nicholson of the Media Maven PR firm. “As a former TV reporter, I can tell you that you must be fast. TV journalists come in for work at 9:00 a.m. and must turn in a story by the 5:00 p.m. newscast. They work on tight deadlines.”
Create a strong online presence
The Pew Research Center says that more than nine-in-ten journalists use social media in their work, so you are more likely to be noticed by them if you are active online. Post helpful content related to your industry regularly on your social media profiles, and if you have a blog on your website, update it with new information. Follow local media, bloggers, and influencers on social media, and engage with them online. “Connecting with journalists on social media is huge,” Nicholson says. “After getting tons of terrible pitches, they are more likely to pay attention to a social media notification than another email in their inbox.”
Partner with a charity
One way to garner positive attention for your business is by doing charitable work or hosting a charity event. For instance, you could support a cause that has personal meaning for you, such as raising money to fight a disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, or choose a charity that is related to your line of work, such as volunteering at a local Habitat for Humanity project if you are an interior designer or real estate agent. “Having an event that gives back always increases the newsworthiness of a story, especially if you’re reaching out to the local media,” Nicholson says. “It’s also a great way to get in the calendars in local publications and online, and it’s easy to promote in local Facebook groups.”
Take part in events
Hosting or participating in industry and community events is a good way to get noticed by reporters who are regularly sent to these functions. For instance, you could partner with other businesses in your community to host a mini fair with booths for local businesses and vendors. Be sure to promote any event you are attending or hosting on social media—you might be able to start a conversation with a journalist before the date arrives. Even if you fail to get media coverage, you could have the chance to chat with a reporter and your company might appear in future news segments or photos. Get business cards from the journalists you meet, and follow up with them later via email or social media for future opportunities.
Throw a media junket
Finally, instead of waiting for media attention, attract it yourself by hosting a fun and informative media junket for reporters, bloggers, Instagrammers, and other influencers, where you could share industry-related information and introduce your products and services. For instance, if you are a real estate agent or sell home products, try holding a seminar with tips on how to improve home security. Make it a red-carpet event by providing gift bags of products, serving food and beverages, and providing pamphlets that promote your business. High-paid celebrities love swag bags, so it’s no surprise that most people will enjoy receiving freebies too. You may be rewarded for your work with coverage of your event and reviews of your products and services.
Take action: Create a database of journalists you can reach out to for media coverage of your business.