This blog was originally published in December 2016 but has been updated to include new information.
Getting press coverage as a small business owner is easier said than done. With news changing minute by minute, it’s difficult to find a publication to run your press release or story. So, we thought we’d share some tips on how to make sure your small business is getting the coverage it deserves.
How do you identify what publications you should pitch? to
Do some research on different publications in your industry to see what topics they cover. This way, you can focus your energy on publications that are realistic options to pick up your story.
From there, identify the specific journalist who covers the topic most closely related to your story. Most times, you can find journalists and writers through the publication’s contact page.
How do you effectively reach out to journalists?
The easiest and most reliable way to contact journalists is through email. If possible, meeting in-person is also a great way to get to form connections with journalists.
If you’re trying to make connections with an industry publication, see if they’re sending any of their bloggers or writers to the next big industry event, then make a point to find and connect with them at the event.
What types of stories tend to win the most press?
Stories that have a human interest angle, feature unique projects, include high-profile clients or are about a major business deal like the acquisition of a well-known business. It isn’t always the biggest sale that attracts the most attention, but sometimes the unique events that are interesting, helpful or relatable to the audience.
How do you make everyday stories more interesting?
Local angles! Tying your story to a current event or incorporating an emotional element are all very effective ways to gain coverage. Try talking through different aspects of the story to try to find the right angle for the right publication. Sometimes it might take pitching the same story with several different angles before you find one that works.
What are the keys to writing a good press release?
There are a lot of elements, but I think one of the most important things to remember is to always write with the publication’s target audience in mind. Reporters care about what their audience cares about. Explain who, what, when, where and why upfront and why your announcement should matter to them.
How do you track the coverage you receive?
There are some really great, high-end automated programs out there like Meltwater that track and analyze coverage, but these tend to be expensive. Google Alerts is a free alternative that sends you an email notification when a new article is published online mentioning the desired keyword.
How do you respond to a media outlet when a story is incorrect or negative?
If you have concerns about coverage negative or incorrect reporting, we recommend you reach out to the reporter directly. We might ask: Could we have provided better information? Having an ongoing and open dialogue with the media contacts helps us ensure our company is accurately represented.
How has social media changed the way you communicate with the press?
Social media if anything, has made it easier to communicate and build relationships with the press. If you follow reporters’ blogs, posts and tweets, you can learn about what articles they’re working on and what stories they like to cover.
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