Press coverage or being featured in magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs, and on TV and radio can be an excellent way to build awareness, authority, and influence of your brand. Unfortunately, most small businesses lack the know-how of what matters when getting press coverage. Fortunately, this article goes deeper into the topic to provide 9 essential tips to guide you.
Even if you are looking for coverage on a product such as a giant bean bag chair, you can get it if you follow these steps.
What Matters When Getting Press Coverage?
1. Having a Newsworthy Story
Featuring an article that details the nuances of your business might be the story that you love telling, but it’s almost always not what media outlets want to cover. A better approach would be to find a compelling news ‘hook’ that you can attach the story too. It could be a major event, a significant impact or financial milestone, the launch of your enterprise, the publication of new research that relates to your cause, or even the launch of a new product/service.
2. Avoiding Jargon
Journalists are incredibly busy professionals who appreciate it when sources make their work easier. Summarize your enterprise in 2 to 3 plain-language sentences and try to avoid using jargon specific to your industry. Whenever possible, put the same text in a press release or your website so that journalists are able to access it quickly and easily when writing about your enterprise.
3. Keeping the Audience in Mind
Investors are more likely to care about how much money you are making as well as your business model than journalists will. When pitching your enterprise to journalists, it is best to tell the story of the business along with how you are solving problems that people or the environment is facing and why it is important.
4. Doing Proper Research For Press Coverage
When pitching to media outlets, it is important to bear in mind who their audience is and share the story of your enterprise that’s likely to resonate with their watchers, listeners, or readers. When pitching to a local TV station, you can consider telling the story of how your enterprise is impacting the lives of people in the community. When sharing your story with a niche publication in your sector, speak as though you are talking to your peers and consider sharing details about how your approach differs from that of other similar enterprises.
5. Investing in High-Quality Photos
Many print and digital outlets lack the budget to hire professional photographers. As a result, journalists will usually rely on images that your business provides to use in the stories they publish. You should consider building a simple press kit that includes general information pertaining to your enterprise, photos, and even some community or customer testimonials whenever possible.
6. Making Getting in Touch Easy
You should make it easy for journalists to contact you by creating a dedicated “Meet the Team” page on your company’s website. The page should include names, roles, and email addresses of all the members of your team. Journalists don’t fancy the idea of sending emails to generic email addresses such as email@example.com.
7. Connecting with Journalists
Follow relevant journalists on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and make connections whenever appropriate. You should also consider inviting the said journalists to demo a new product or service before it hits the market or to attend a pre-launch day. Offering journalists this ‘inside scoop’ makes it easier for them to convince their editors that your company’s story is one worth telling.
8. Access to Media Lists
Several organizations currently offer services that allow you to access the contact details of journalists that may be interested in covering stories such as the ones about your enterprise. When it comes to pitching your story to such journalists, you should always remember to customize the pitch to the interests of both the journalist as well as the publication to which you are pitching.
9. A Public Relations (PR) Firm
If you would like to get the best press coverage and have the budget for a public relations firm, you should go ahead and do it. A good PR firm will know how best to pitch stories, know the ideal time to pitch stories, and in most cases will have pre-existing relationships with publications or journalists that they can leverage. Hiring someone else to handle your PR means that you have more time to dedicate to the business.
The Bottom Line
Press coverage can be great for your business but only if you do it right. Press coverage is not a science, but rather about establishing relationships and having an understanding of who you are pitching and the demographic that you are trying to reach.
Press coverage does not have to be elusive. Stop using the wrong approach and start being purposeful instead and use the 9 tips provided here to provide guidance on the right way to get press coverage for your business.