Generating press coverage is excellent for your small business, but it's no walk in the park. Here are four tips for creating press for your company.
"There's no such thing as bad publicity," said Phineas T. Branum, a famous showman and circus owner. A businessman who was among the first to truly understand the cycle of the media and how to manipulate it. That being said, great press can be of vital value in boosting your business's profile, but bad news can turn on you.
Why is PR important?
There are many reasons why PR is of crucial importance for your small business, let's take a look at some of the most important reasons:
PR saves businesses money. Taking the time to recruit influencers and blogs to write about your brand will save you money and drastically boost the word-of-mouth of your brand.
PR is more effective than advertising. According to a Nielson study, PR is 90% more effective than advertising.
It can boost brand visibility. Good PR is essential and can aid in increasing your brand visibility. Online content has no expiration date, and this means PR efforts can assist in gaining visibility over time.
How to generate more press for your website.
1. Tell a story.
Reporters are rarely interested in promoting your business and its offerings. Their job is to write newsworthy stories. The first vital step in generating press is to determine whether you have a newsworthy story to share. Determine what is unique about your business and its offerings and share stories about the challenges you may have overcome and how they shaped your company. If you have an authentic and engaging story to tell, it will firstly resonate with journalists and ultimately with readers who could become future customers.
2. Research and reach out to journalists.
Journalists, reporters and bloggers receive hundreds of emails per week with many of them might not be aligned with topics they cover. It's wise to do research and seek media outlets and journalists that cover your industry. Reaching out to editors directly with meaningful content is more likely to grab their attention than sending out press releases. It's a smart move to construct a list of bloggers or reporters which align with your brand.
3. Be helpful and flexible.
As mentioned above, your story or pitch won't be aligned with all media outlets. However, if you're flexible and offer additional angles, media outlets are more likely to provide coverage. Reach out to journalists and offer to provide expert thought leadership on articles they might already be working on. By doing this, you'll seem more helpful instead of appearing as if you're just seeking free marketing.
It's always easier to join conversations than starting new ones. Research your target media lists and reach out to the reporters on that list as a resource or contributor to topics they already cover.
You could even try your hand at writing your own press. Sign up for sites such as business.co.za where you can join as an industry thought leader.
4. Know when it's time to generate press.
It's vital to generate as much press as possible, however, if you don't have anything newsworthy to share, wait. Trying to create news all the time will contribute negatively to your reputation and could lead to media outlets ignoring you when you do have newsworthy stories to tell.
The worst thing you can do for your reputation as a business is to continually seek mentions and press releases regardless if there is anything new to talk about.
Remember, that if you aren't seeing results to remain patient and be ready for rejection. Be persistent and thick-skinned for rejection will come around. You need to know when to approach, whom to seek out and ensure that you have something of worth for reporters to publish.