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As a business owner, you need help to attract people, and media attention is one of the most effective methods to stand out. Although many journalists are not going to pitch stories out of the goodness of their hearts, there is still a whole lot that a journalist can do for your brand.
They can write about a small business, review an item or even create a compelling story for you on their own. To get coverage for your business, you'll need to build a list of contacts and pitch them on a story about your product.
Steps to get press coverage for your business:
Define your objective.
This can be anything from brand awareness, more website traffic, email inquiries, social media followers, email list signups, product sales and beyond. For small business owners who need to gain brand awareness, getting press coverage is obviously a logical place to start.
However, you also want more than just exposure. For example, if you're seeking new customers, then a press release may be a great way to inspire existing customers to contact you.
Sketch out your mission.
It is important that you have a clear idea of what you wish to accomplish and tell the media something about your business that sets it apart from the millions of other small businesses out there. Maybe your business has a moving back-story behind its origin or name.
Everything you pitch about your business to a journalist should be unique, outstanding and move your company forward as a great place to work and do business. Basically, outline your small business journey and let others know the curious details of your story that would interest journalists and the media to cover the story.
Create a list of potential contacts.
Make a list of the most credible publications in your field or industry. Whether they are blogging or writing for publications, you need to know where your media contacts are located.
Start by identifying the outlets and platforms that cover your topic the most and that are relevant to your audience. Only a few journalists, editors or producers will be interested in your story.
Dig around and confirm who covers the segment or industry story you want to pitch.
Look for a journalist or media organization.
Journalists are more likely to cover a story that resonates with them personally. Look for connections between your small business and the journalists who will potentially cover it.
Use your connections with local journalists, writers and publications to reach out about your small business or the products or services.
Events can be nerve-wracking for businesses to host, but they are also a great way to get media coverage. Some fun activities include charity work, arts and crafts, or hosting an industry discussion group.
Participate in a local charity or organization that receives coverage in local media. You’ll be able to make connections with journalists who cover similar topics, which will help you grow your audience and develop a reputation as a leader in your field.
After the event, you can also create a press release for the event, which can be submitted to local news outlets.
Unique angle or story.
A good story is something that will catch the attention of columnists or reporters. You need to come up with an idea that will be unique and interesting.
No outlet can grant you free publicity, but they can help you get the word out about your company. Think of an interesting angle that has not been covered in the media.
If you can give them a story that will be both interesting and useful to their readers, you will have a chance of getting your product or business covered for people at large.
Write a press release.
It's a great format for covering an event or breaking news and it's perfect for journalists. However, it's not the right choice for everyday content creators.
Create a short, snappy press release sharing your story in just three sentences — and include a link to a full article if you'd like the recipients to forward it on. Also include your contact information, social media handles and any other relevant contact information.
Start a naming trend.
This is an interesting and widely practiced phenomenon that reflects how fun it is to play with words meant to grab people’s attention. Businesses have creative names for all kinds of things, from their own brands to events like tradeshows to generate publicity and pique potential customers’ interest.
Some of these naming trends become an effective marketing tool for businesses, although others may go nowhere.
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Shivali Anand is a content developer at Escalon Business Services. Her expertise lies in creating consistent and relevant B2B marketing, SEO and social media content. She is armed with a PG Diploma in English Journalism from the IIMC Dhenkanal, Odisha. After starting as a travel writer, she embarked upon a career as a copyeditor, news content specialist, and researcher across organizations including Ministry of MSME, Vaco Binary Semantics LLP, Doordarshan News, and New Delhi Times.