Every business – and small businesses in particular – can benefit from press coverage. Media coverage increases your brand visibility. This leads to more web traffic, more social media followers, and most important of all, more customers. But how do you go about getting press coverage? This article will tell you ten tips for how to get good press coverage for your business.
How to Get Press Coverage for my Business
There might not be such a thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as free press. Let’s talk about how you can get press coverage for your small business:
Decide on Your Audience
Who is your audience? Who are you ideally trying to reach? Knowing who your audience is the first step in how to get press coverage. It is important to identify a particular demographic or subject of people who you are targeting. For example, is your audience stay-at-home moms? Or are you catering to healthcare workers?
Whoever your ideal customer is, it helps to know who they are. The more specific you can be, the better. You will have a better chance of connecting with your audience if you know who they are, what they want, what they need, how they think – and what press they are consuming. This will help you narrow down which media outlets to reach out to and help you formulate your media strategy.
What Does Your Audience Reach, Watch, and Listen To?
Once you know who your target audience is, next you need to find out what media they consume. What do they like to read and watch? These can be radio stations, TV channels, local newspapers, magazines, blogs, other local publications, social media channels, and other kinds of websites.
Connect with the Right Journalists
Now, you need to find the people who work at the channels and publications that your audience loves. Who covers the beat that your business might fall under? Make a connection with the relevant journalists who might want to cover your story. Perhaps it begins online. You can reach out to them via their social media channels or email. Then, you can create a pitch. A great pitch will pique the journalist or writer’s curiosity, have an attention-grabbing subject line, and a short intro email that explains a little about you and your business and what makes your story newsworthy. The best PR pitch will answer the question, “why do your readers care about this story?”
Do their Work for Them
Reporters are always looking for story ideas. A journalist loves nothing better than to have their work nearly completed for them! If you hand them a ready-to-go story, the more likely it will be that it will get run. Sadly, these days, many newspapers and other kinds of publications’ staff are stretched thin. The key is to compose a well-written press release with all of the relevant information they will need for their story. (You can even write different variations of the press release for different kinds of outlets, if you are pitching to multiple places, which we recommend you do.)
However, you don’t necessarily need to pitch The New York Times. The more local the outlet you choose to pitch, the more likely it is that they will run your story. Plus, this helps you attract local customers.
Don’t Hesitate to Follow Up
Journalists are inundated with emails in their inbox all day long. So, don’t be afraid to follow up after sending your original introductory email, message, or pitch. You can even call a publication to follow up on your email. It’s possible that your pitch got lost in the shuffle, or there was a crazy breaking news day and there was no time or room to run the story. That is why it is always important to follow up with your contacts.
Offer to Write Guest Posts
If you are having trouble getting media outlets to write about your business, another way to get press is to write a guest blog for another website. Offering to do the writing yourself is an easy way to get published. This is an excellent way to get your name out there and brand your business. However, be careful not to overly self-promote in your blog post or article. Readers will see through that immediately. Instead, use it as an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert or authority in your industry. You can include backlinks to your website to improve your own website’s SEO. Plus, you get to connect with your audience. Win-win-win.
Perform Newsworthy Community Actions
Another way to obtain media attention is to participate in events or bring value to your community in other ways. Donate to a local charity, sponsor a Little League team, provide school supplies for teachers who need them, or have yourself or your employees volunteer. All of these activities are newsworthy. You can write a press release about the wonderful thing you did for the community. Reporters are always looking for good news stories to counter the bad!
Build Relationships with the Media
You might not get a story in print or on the 5 o’clock news the first time you pitch a reporter. It takes time to develop relationships with the media. Put in the time and effort to get to know the reporters who cover your beat before you pitch them, if possible. Compliment them on their previous work. You can say something like “I saw your story on (insert topic), and thought you might also be interested in this similar story about my business.” It always helps as a business owner to have a long term relationship with someone in the media.
Be Cognizant of Timing
It is important to plan ahead when working on getting media coverage of something your business is doing. For example, many media outlets plan their coverage at least one day in advance. Don’t be afraid to send out a few periodic reminders well ahead of your event or activity you would like the media to cover, if you are hoping for them to attend. It helps to be aware of the publication schedule of any print media you are pitching so you can pitch any stories to them well in advance of their deadline. No one wants to report on an event that happened weeks ago!
Make PR a Priority, or Hire Professionals
There is a reason why public relations is such a major industry. PR takes a lot of time and hard work. You will either have to put in the necessary time to get positive press coverage, or you can always hire a PR firm to do the legwork for you. The benefit of a PR firm is that the public relations professionals already have working relationships with the media. You also have the option of hiring a marketing agency like SEO Design Chicago to help you get press coverage. (Yes, there is a difference between PR vs marketing.)
FAQs about How to Get Press Coverage:
- How do you ask for press coverage?
- Can I get press coverage for free?
- How do you get a reporter to cover your story?
- How do I pitch a story to the media?
- What are some tips for writing a guest post?