Many times we are asked by small business owners, what they can do themselves to generate positive PR for their business.
Most small companies and startups find it difficult to find firms like Slate Media that are willing and able to take on a smaller client and find themselves struggling for ideas on how to get positive media coverage, while at the same time focus on building their business. Fortunately for the ones that work with us that isn’t a problem, as we have a small business PR team that is able to meet their needs, but for most small business they may never know who to reach out to for help
With that in mind, we have put together six simple “do it yourself” PR tips for small businesses that have found themselves struggling with being able to connect with local media outlets.
Press relations are not always a strong point for small businesses, since they don’t have an entire media relations department like many large companies do. However, there are some of the strengths in the area of press relations that small businesses can take advantage of.
For one, press releases and media coverage can take the place of more expensive advertising campaigns and help create a better return on your investment, if you can get the attention of your local media professionals. HOWEVER it’s important to note that press releases rarely get you coverage by local media. They rarely give press releases much consideration.
Another great use for press releases is to build a greater presence online as you utilize press release distribution services, such as PRWeb. These services are typically reasonable and will distribute your press release online in a manner that will give you greater visibility online when consumers search for you. It’s a good practice to issue a press release online every time something significant happens in your business, including new hiring of a key employee, charitable contributions, new locations etc. Over time, it you utilize press releases in that way, you will be found more easily online with positive information which will save some of your precious advertising dollars.
In this article, we offer up Six tips for small businesses that will help you achieve more PR for less effort.
Make your story newsworthy
Of course, your story is important to you, but is it newsworthy to the media? Ask yourself the question: “Why would a reader or viewer be interested in my story”. For the reporter, this is called the “hook.” Your pitch have a have a “hook”.
When you are sharing your story with the media, whether it is in a pitch or sending out a press release, you have to find the news angle that will strike a chord with media professionals and most importantly their readers and viewers. This is why a personal pitch with a “hook” is much more powerful than a blind press release.
Build relationships with key journalists
When looking at all of the media professionals, you will see that some cover your city or region, some cover your industry and others may cover something else that relates to your business in some way.
Journalists that are already looking to write about the news you have make your work much easier.
Be sure to keep a list of these contacts for the future.
Don’t forget to include bloggers, magazines, local news, as well as national and international journalists. At the same time that you can be targeting those media professionals that will want to cover your stories, you can also find journalists that are actually looking for you. Often times, journalists or media professionals are assigned a story.
They use a source called HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out. If you sign up for their email list, you can be notified when media professionals are looking to write a story on a particular topic.
If that topic is something in relation to your business, you can be connected to them.
Be timely and accessible
News only has a short window of relevancy. Be sure to get your well written or well-presented news out to journalists in a timely manner, far enough in advance for it to make their deadlines and before your news is no longer irrelevant for them to use. All reporters, writers and journalists have deadlines, even if they don’t work in print media.
Be courteous and aware of that. Once you have contacted a journalist with your story, make yourself available to them. Supply them with multiple ways to contact you and let them know that they can contact you anytime. Often writers are working right up against a deadline and if they can contact you and you can respond to them, it gives your story a much better chance of being run.
Identify and follow journalists on social media
It is perfectly fine to hit up journalists on their public social media channels and let them know that you have something that might interest them.
Keep it professional.
You are likely to get much better results if you follow the media profe