For most small businesses the likelihood of showing up in the Wall Street Journal or Huffington Post is pretty remote. But it is not impossible.
When it comes to their business, entrepreneurs carry more than one title. Not only are they the CEO, they are their company’s marketing director, human resource department, finance department, the problem solver, strategic thinker and more. It is no surprise that the media outreach aspect of their job often falls through the cracks.
While it may be the last item on your to-do list, public relations (PR) efforts are essential to the success of your business—and are really not that hard to do (I promise!). By managing the communication between your company and the public, you can ensure a good public image.
I understand that reaching out to the media can be intimidating, especially if you do not have the time or funds to execute an extensive PR strategy. This is why I am sharing foolproof recommendations that have helped me secure media coverage for Durrell Communications client’s, from online bloggers to the New York Times.
Below are tips that can help you become your own PR mogul and create better traction with media outlets.
Timeliness is key
Typically newsworthiness is increased when events are recent and fresh. If something important happened with your company yesterday, do not wait a week to share it!
You should also be aware of timely trends. Keep in mind, not every pitch has to coincide with a national news story, but I recommend keeping a finger on the pulse of relevant topics that might align with your business.
While pitching publications through email can be time consuming, it is also an incredibly effective way to reach different reporters, bloggers and journalists. You can often find their emails on the publication’s website.
Things to consider:
1. Your subject line should catch their attention
2. Personalize your email to the journalist you are pitching
3. Follow up with a phone call
PR Tip: If you can not find the phone number of the person you are pitching online, tweet at them! Most reporters are on social media and capitalizing on their public profiles can help separate you from the hundreds of other pitches that they receive.
Look for opportunities
Always look for pitch opportunities by doing news sweeps of your industry. Set up Google alerts for keywords that pertain to your company, and stay up-to-date with what your favourite journalists and publications are writing about.
Think about your target market
Contrary to popular belief; high-profile media coverage may not always be effective or valuable to your brand. For example, if you are trying to promote your beauty product, being positively mentioned by online fashion and lifestyle bloggers is far more beneficial than MacLean’s Magazine.
This means that you need to be empowered with the knowledge of what your target market is reading, and curating a media list with that knowledge.
Remember, the story isn’t always about you
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming that the only media coverage they should try and get is a “profile piece” about their businesses. That is one way to go, but it is far less likely that you’ll get covered in this type of story.
Reporters choose topics to write stories about and most require interviews to bring the story to life. If you can be a source for a reporter to comment on a story they are already writing, you are far more likely to be mentioned in the media.
Durrell Communications is here to help you get the word out. If you are struggling with media outreach let us know and we will help you find success!