You’ve worked hard to build your small business and seen some great successes, and now you want to share your knowledge and story with the world. Getting news media coverage is a great way to get your business’s name out in the marketplace. But it’s not as easy as distributing a press release.
Here are five tips to help your business get press:
1. Know what’s newsworthy to a reporter or a website.
News sites and beat reporters look for news that has a hook, which means there’s a “so what” factor to the story. Tell a reporter why they should be writing about your company — does your story provide a lesson for other business owners? Have you found a new and innovative way to get financing? Try to craft your pitch or press release around what’s significant about your news, and how it shows a trend or impacts the industry.
2. Consider hiring a PR professional.
Someone who has relationships with news outlets and reporters and is practiced at pitching news can help you find the right angle to get your news out there. A lot of PR professionals are former reporters, which means they know what kind of language to use and who to approach to get coverage for your business.
3. Build relationships.
Meet with local reporters and position yourself as someone who can give knowledgeable comments about things going on in your industry. News coverage doesn’t just mean stories about your company — having a quote in a story about another company or a trend still gets your name and expertise in front of readers’ eyes.
4. Understand what news outlets and reporters cover.
There’s a difference, for instance, between the reporter at the local TV station who covers healthcare by doing stories on an illness in the community, and the healthcare reporter at the business newspaper who covers hospital mergers. Knowing what kind of stories a reporter covers will help you develop a more tailored pitch that’s more likely to be read.
5. Avoid jargon.
You’re not pitching to investors, you’re pitching to a journalist — so don’t write a sales pitch, and don’t use language that only other businesses in your industry would understand. Instead of saying your company is “next-generation”, tell reporters how your product or service is different and why.