Small and start-up businesses often feel that getting press coverage is out of their reach – but this is not the case. Here are some tips for getting press coverage.
Marketing is often a real challenge for small businesses. How do you reach the right audience at a price point that works for your budget? There are many different avenues for marketing exposure, from PPC to Facebook advertising, to guerrilla methods. But good old fashioned PR may be the best bet for your company. Here, we look at how to get press coverage that gives your business the exposure it needs, in the publications that matter.
Understand What Journalists Want
There are some essential ‘ingredients’ that make a news story and these are what journalists look for in a press release. Human interest is key as journalists want the people angle. They also look for what is new, research to support or challenge thinking. Your job is to give them positive ingredients that support your story and avoid the negative elements.
Know the Audience
Stories must be relevant and of interest to the publication’s audience. There must also be a ‘peg’ for the story – a reason for the story to be reported. You can create a ‘peg’ by linking your story to, for example, current topics in the news or forthcoming events, or even some research that has been issued.
It’s important to review copies of publications you want to target to get a feel for the types of stories that will be of interest, as well as the profile of the readership.
Building Your Press List
You’ll probably be familiar with many of the publications that are relevant, such as local news or trade press. There are a number of sources to help you add to your listing. Vuelio is a useful reference guide for individuals and companies in the press and media – helping you reach journalists, editors, bloggers, national and local press. JournoLink is also a useful tool for small businesses looking to get through to the media contacts that can help them get exposure.
Researching Your Press Contacts
Approach your target publications to check out the most relevant person for you to contact, their contact details and their preferred method of receiving information. It’s important, too, to find out deadlines and publication dates. This helps to avoid annoying journalists by phoning them when they are up against their deadline. Don’t be afraid to contact journalists to check if particular topics are of interest.
Issuing Press Releases with Punch
Your press release should be presented in a way that makes it as easy as possible for a journalist to use – that means following some basic rules:
- Capturing the essence of the story in the first paragraph
- Avoiding jargon and keeping to the facts
- Using statistics to back up your story where possible
- Avoiding making claims about your business that you cannot back up
- Including contact details at the bottom of the release and ensuring that you are available for follow-up calls.
Supporting the Press Release
It’s useful to give some thought to how you can support any press release or approach you make to a journalist. Offering an interview, case study, third-party quote or photograph are all worth considering.