There is always something to talk about in business, and now there are far more ways to tell your story!
Once upon a time, the only way to get your news out was to write a press release, send it to the papers and keep your fingers crossed! Nine times out of ten your pleas for publicity would fall on deaf ears because your carefully crafted press release was just not NEWS, or even vaguely interesting to anyone but you – the owner and proud possessor of that press release! Confused by your lack of success, I expect you gave up and decided that newspapers just didn’t know what a good story was when they saw it!
Be honest now, have you been guilty of this?
To catch the eye of an eager reporter who may be lurking in the background, I have given you some handy little tips below to make sure you are on the right track re ‘news’. Next month I’ll give you some tips on ‘What not to do when writing a press release’, which will make your success rate even higher!
TIPS FOR GETTING NOTICED>>>>>>>
- Be the first, newest, oldest, biggest, smallest, etc. Journalists get sent ‘average’ all day long – make sure you are not amongst them.
- Introduce something new or improved. Focus on why it is different and what problems it solves.
- Mark time. If you have an important anniversary – say 10 years in business or someone who has been in post for 20 years for example, you may be able to secure media coverage, especially if you are organising newsworthy celebratory events.
- Announce a new staff member. Doesn’t have to be anyone senior, although the more senior the better. Say why are they special? Pinpoint the thing that made them the right person for the job and publicise that. Draw attention to their career.
- Win an award. Many companies go for awards because of the publicity they bring. Find out what trade, local, regional or national awards your business can enter and get your entry forms in.
- Have an opinion. Comment on something happening in the news nationally or locally that’s relevant to you and your business. Be a local spokesperson; you can get to be the first point of contact for certain topics if you regular do this (without ranting!)
- Provide good comment. Moving on from the previous point – years of experience in your industry could make you an expert. Journalists and readers appreciate experts’ opinion. Be available to comment when journalists need good quotes – and don’t let them down!
- Give away offers. If you have a product, think about contacting the local media with an offer and use it to drive traffic to your website. Arranging an exclusive deal with one media outlet might get you more coverage over a longer period and be easier to measure the return.
- Sign up a new major client – the bigger the better. And don’t shy away from boasting about it; get quotes from them if possible. News of big contracts can help to attract others and even better if they are bringing work/jobs/money into the area.
- Survey your customers. Polls are always popular with journalists and their readers because they are based on reader opinions. Ask enough people about an interesting topic and you could find yourself on to a winner.
- Write articles for free. Share your expertise and help a newspaper or magazine with thought-provoking new content on subjects they can’t cover easily.
- Help a charity. Cash is good but please think of better ways to present the cash than with an oversized cheque! Try also giving your time or products or your staff and resources to do something that will aid a worthy cause. AND ask the charity to send it into the paper for you – they often get very good coverage if they are locally represented.
None of this is rocket science and you too can get your name in ‘print’ – digital or ink!
Good luck and remember, if you want some help you can always give me a call 🙂
Pam Knight, White Knight Marketing Ltd