Article

Sheila Eugenio
Sheila Eugenio 23 January 2017

8 Ways To Get Your Small Business More Online Media Coverage

Getting the right media coverage can pay huge dividends to bolster your brand awareness. Not only can media coverage increase your sales and grow your customer base, if done correctly, it can be very cheap.

Consumers are exposed to more news and media than ever before. In the early stages of a small business, one of the most challenging tasks you will face is how to build your reputation.

Here are some ways to help get media coverage that will turn your brand into a household name:

1. Create stellar, newsworthy content.

First and foremost, if you want to capture the attention of the consumer, your topic needs to be relevant and newsworthy. What do people currently think about your industry? What do you want them to think after being exposed to your brand? What is it about your business that shakes the foundation of history?

Ask yourself these questions to determine how you need to craft your message to appeal to the masses.  Start by using your own media platforms such as blogs and social media to get your content out. Then start looking for the bigger media outlets.

You will not only need to impress the everyday consumer; you also need to wow journalists into covering your story.

2. Get to know the media outlets around you.

In order to get good media coverage, the best place to start is with your local outlets. One of the most common reasons stories don’t get picked up is because they are not matched with the correct publication.

Specific publications and journalists cover different beats within the community. Do your research and find the best outlet to cover your story. Once you have found a good fit, start building rapport. For starters, read the stories they publish online and comment on them. This will help put a face to the name when you reach out to pitch your story. Another great way to get your name out there is to regularly tweet at the publication after a story has been published.

Regardless of how big your business gets, always keep hometown coverage in mind and get to know the players.

3. Get involved in the community by hosting local events.

One of the best ways to get noticed by the local media is to host events within the community and invite the press. This will not only help get your business name out there, but it will give you an opportunity to showcase that you are an expert in your field. Make sure there is designated time set aside to answer any questions from journalists. By doing this, you are laying the foundation for a long-term relationship with the media outlets.

4. Learn how to craft a flawless press release.

Once you have a good idea for a story pitch, it is time to create a press release. Creating a captivating press release for business can be considered an art form. Keep in mind, most journalists get hundreds, if not thousands of story ideas every day. You need to capture their attention quickly.

The best way to think of a press release is like an upside-down pyramid. When putting pen to paper, always showcase the most important information at the top and smaller details at the bottom. If you are not confident in your writing abilities, don’t be afraid to hire a freelancer through websites such as Upwork or Freelancer.com!

5. Always reach out via email.

Media releases these days should always be done over email. Voicemails take too long to check and journalists will rarely return a phone call for a story idea. Journalists and editors are extremely busy people. The last thing you want to do is unnecessarily hold them up.

6. Humanize your message to the media outlet.

One of the quickest ways for a journalist to press the delete button on a media release is if the email subject or opening paragraph is filled with industry jargon. Chances are, the journalist won’t know what most of the words mean and neither will the readers. Make the receivers of your message feel like it’s coming from a human being doing something extraordinary, rather than a business.  

7. Be the expert source.

Backing up your pitch with strong credentials will help establish you as a reliable source within your industry. Even if your particular release does not get picked up, the outlet knows you are an expert and could potentially ask you for a quote when covering a different story. This is great brand exposure for you and your business.

Another good way to show your expertise is to create a resource library within your website. Therefore, if the media outlet decides to cover you, they will have a lot of good reference material to work with.

8. Don’t give up!

Pitching to the media is a difficult task and always will be. You will be faced with a lot of rejection regardless of how unique your business is. Always have a positive mindset going into the process. The more pitches you send out, the easier it will become. In the age of social media and instant access to information, it is very crucial that businesses get the right media coverage to reach a vast audience.

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