January 26, 2022 | 4-minute read (669 words)
As a business owner, you need help getting people interested in your company. But if you handle marketing on your own and without the benefit of a PR agent, what’s a business owner to do?
While journalists may not pitch stories out of the goodness of their hearts, a reporter can nevertheless help your brand by covering an interesting aspect of your business, assuming you’ve caught their attention. To gain press for your company, you'll need to establish a list of contacts and sell them on a narrative about your product.
Steps to obtaining press attention for your company:
1. Establish your goal. This might range from increased brand recognition to better website traffic, more email inquiries, growing your audience of social media followers, adding to your email list and ultimately boosting product sales. Getting media coverage is a relatively easy place to start for small business owners who want to grow awareness. You want more than simply exposure, though.
2. Make a rough sketch of your purpose. You need to provide the media with something unique about your company. What distinguishes it from the millions of other small businesses out there? Perhaps your company's inception or name has a touching backstory. Maybe you have family roots in the community. Everything you say to a journalist about your firm should be distinctive, stand out and promote your organization as a fantastic location to work and conduct business. Sketch out your small company’s journey and note the most intriguing parts of your story that can be used to pique media attention.
3. Make a list of people to contact. Create a list of the most reputable publications in your business or subject. You need to know where your media contacts are situated, whether they are blogging, writing for magazines or even podcasting. Begin by finding the publications and platforms most relevant to your target audience. Your business will likely be of interest to only a few journalists, editors or producers. Your research should confirm who covers the segment or industry topic where your business belongs.
4. Find journalists or news organizations. Journalists are more inclined to cover a story with a personal connection. They are also more apt to cover topics that are personally relevant to them; therefore, seek links between your small business and the journalists who may potentially cover it. Make use of your contacts with local journalists, authors and periodicals to spread the word about your small company’s products and services
5. Host a local event. While hosting an event can be stressful for businesses, they are also a terrific way to gain media attention. Participate in a local charity or group that is well-known in the community to draw people in. You may be able to leverage this event with journalists covering similar topics, which can help you broaden your reach and position yourself as an authority in your field.
6. Devise a unique story or perspective. Come up with a hook to capture the attention of media outlets. They aren’t going to provide free exposure, but they may assist you in spreading the word about your business if they feel it has an interesting story. Consider a unique viewpoint that hasn't been explored in the media that a journalist can share with readers.
7. Send a press release. A newsworthy press release is well-suited for journalists on the hunt for stories. Create a three-sentence press release that summarizes your story and includes a link to a complete article you want recipients to see. Include your phone number, email address and social media accounts, as well as any other pertinent contact information.
8. Initiate a naming trend. Contests can be used to boost awareness. For instance, hold a contest to name a new product or service. Or offer imaginative names for anything from your brand itself to a tradeshow, and allow people to vote on their favorite one. The goal is to create awareness and attract the curiosity of potential customers.