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How Can I Get Media Coverage for My Small Business?

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How Can I Get Media Coverage for My Small Business?

There are basically two ways you can get media coverage for your business: you can do it yourself, or you can pay a publicist as part of a media campaign.

Enlisting a good publicist can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, or even more. If you put in a bit of effort, you should be able to do a reasonable job of it yourself; however, if media exposure is an essential part of the plan for your business, paying a publicist will be money well spent.

If you’re going the DIY approach, you need to think about an angle. What is it that’s happening in your business or what is it about your business that is interesting, unique and newsworthy?

Once you have an angle (or two or three) you will need to prepare two key components; a media release or media video (or both) and a media list:

The media release.

A media release is basically a one-page summary of your unique business story, or you can do a video. This is where you will work up your angle. A lot of information is available about how to write a good media release so I won’t go into too much detail.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make it only one page; Journos are very busy people.
  • Write your release like an article, so the journalist can just publish it as is.
  • Make sure you include contact details.
  • Tailor your media release for each outlet. For example, if your business is investment advice, your media release for Shares magazine might focus on the new investment software your company has developed, while your media release for The Age might focus on how everyday investors can now invest with more ease.
  • Include a few quotes from you about your subject. These give journalists something they can easily pull out of the media release if they wish.

The media list.

You can purchase media lists, but if you’re willing to spend some time surfing the net and on the phone, you can put together a decent media list yourself. You should be able to find at least 100 media outlets to send to.

Here are some outlets for you to look into:

  • Newspapers – Send to the editor or a journalist of the relevant section. If your business is parties for kids, send it to the lifestyle section, if it’s about business consulting, send it to the business section.
  • Magazines – Ones that cover your area, including industry mags.
  • Websites, podcasts and blogs – Ones that cover your industry; you can offer to write guest blogs.
  • Radio and television – Do your homework and find radio and television programs that cover your subject; don’t forget about local radio.
  • Local newspapers – Tailor a media release specifically for your local paper, concentrating on how you and your business contribute to the local community.

Here are some tips for preparing your media list:

  • Wherever possible, get the name of a contact person you can send to. This is very important, firstly because it increases the chances of reaching the most relevant person, and secondly because following up will be much easier.
  • You should be able to find most contact details online. For any that you can’t, give the company a call.
  • For newspapers, send your information to an assistant editor or journalist rather than the editor. The assistant is usually the person who will present anything of interest to the editor. Journalists might be even better because if they like your story, they will sell it to the editor.
  • If you’re trying to get your story picked up by a radio program, send your information to the producers of the program, not the on-air presenter.

Plus here are a few things to have handy:

  • A PDF copy of the media release, to email to them in case they didn’t receive the first one.
  • Some article ideas that you can pitch if you get into a discussion with a journalist.
  • Some interesting facts and figures about yourself and your business that you can use in a discussion with a journalist.
  • Some relevant, high-quality images to supply if needed (including photos of you).

Follow up with the editor or journalist, but don’t hound them; if they seem interested after the initial follow up you can contact them again, but if there is no interest, leave it be and move onto the next outlet.

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