As a small business getting publicity is difficult when you don’t have the big budgets and resources of your larger competitors. So what do you do to get that PR buzz and that word-of-mouth that drives traffic? Here are some steps you must take to get the buzz:
Make sure you have something to talk about
Even though you think that your company, product or service is the best out there, what’s important is the perception of your clients and media. You have to make sure that the media perceives your product or service to be so unique that it stands out from the crowd.
Journalists are always looking for something new or a unique angle to a story that hasn’t been covered before. Here are some ways that you can get journalists to cover your company:
• You have just launched a unique, breakthrough product or service that isn’t found anywhere else. This product stands out because it kicks ass and you’re so proud of it that you’ll give any reporter a free product for them to try for their story.
• You can tie your product or service into the latest news trend of the day. Try to tie in your product to trends such as organic or environmentally friendly issues. Or link it to highly political situations... So whenever you notice a trend coming up, figure out how does your company fit in with it?
Pitch your story to the right person
Do your research before you start sending our press releases. Find out what the editorial calendar is for a particular publication. Determine which topics are going to be covered in the next few issues and tailor your pitch towards their schedule. Find out which reporter or editor is responsible for your industry and approach them only. You should also approach media that cover only your industry, product or business.
Some ways to find the right contact in a media outlet are:
• Read their masthead
• Do a search on their website
• Contact the media outlet by phone
When you pitch the reporter, add reasons as to why your business should be covered by the media outlet.
Follow up afterwards
Just like sales, you must consistently follow up with your contacts. If they have expressed an interest in covering you, make sure that you keep in touch with them and provide them with as much information they need. Send them a thank you note once you’ve received media coverage. The more organized and responsive you are to a reporter’s needs; you’ll be favoured with a higher chance of getting a story published.