Getting your business featured in the media can be a great way to generate publicity. But where do you begin?
It’s all starts with defining what media coverage would help you most. Businesses relying on local trade will need to look to the media outlets in their region. However, if you offer a service, you could gain exposure in your industry title by offering insightful comment on a topical issue. Becoming known as the ‘go to’ expert in your field can lead to valuable media coverage. Alternatively, if you sell a product, you’ll want to get featured (and photographed) in a title read by your target audience, such as a women’s lifestyle magazine.
Once you’ve decided which media you’re targeting, you’ll need to find ways to appeal to journalists and editors. Here’s our advice on how to attract media attention:
Most companies are more newsworthy than they think. Take a look at your industry media, national newspapers and then the magazines that are read by your customers and see what they like to cover.
New appointments, product innovations, success stories, charitable events staged by your staff – these all offer potential for media coverage. Either put together a short press release or ring up the title you want to target and tell them about your story – be succinct, they get lots of phone calls!
Don’t give up if your first attempt doesn’t work – send good quality news stories on a regular basis to build awareness of your company and increase your chances of getting coverage.
Demonstrate your expertise
National newspapers and industry magazines like to feature specialists who can make informed comment on issues of the day. It takes time to build a profile as the ‘go to’ expert in your field, but the effort can pay dividends in valuable media coverage.
Start by showcasing your expertise on your own website – write an informative blog and keep it up-to-date. Create a press room on your website to store press releases, contact details (including an out-of-hours telephone number), good quality photos and biographies of your senior leadership team.
These send the right signals to journalists when they are researching potential interviewees – they are more likely to contact you if they can see you’re active in your industry.
Every so often, think of an article idea which your target title may like to consider. Offer to write the article – journalists on industry titles will often consider submissions. As they are unlikely to guarantee publication it’s a good idea to validate your idea beforehand, so make contact either by phone or include a synopsis of your article in an email.
Send out samples
If you sell a consumer product, consider sending samples to journalists and magazines. If they like it and it fits with their editorial plans, it could get included in editorial features or photoshoots.
It’s best to make contact by phone in the first instance so that your product doesn’t arrive out of the blue. Unless you are offering product for trial, you can usually ensure it gets returned.
Nurture your contacts
Journalists and editors can only feature your business if they know about it, so try to find opportunities to build your contacts. If you’re attending an industry event or trade show, go along to the press zone and make some introductions. Check to see if the people you want to meet are using social media and start to engage. See if any of your business associates have relationships that could be helpful to you.
Explore promotional opportunities
Lots of industry magazines will offer a range of promotional opportunities which can lead to valuable coverage. Titles with a reputation for opinion/comment/thought leadership often run round table discussions with senior industry figures and these can usually be sponsored, giving you a seat at the table and inclusion in the resulting article. While a promotion of this sort comes at a price, the benefit is that your business will be featured in a title which is respected in your industry.
Hopefully we have shown there are lots of ways to seek media coverage for your business. For further information, and for tailored PR support, please get in touch.