In my previous post “10 Tips to get a reporter to cover your story“, I focused on writing the actual press release or ‘pitch’ that you send to the media. But what if you haven’t gotten that far yet? What if, frankly, you don’t know where to begin? Just like every individual has a story, every company or organization does as well. So what are some ways you can get coverage for your small business? Think local.
- Develop contacts. Identify reporters at the various local media outlets and know which beats they cover. If your company is selling pharmaceuticals, know who the health reporters are. Be friendly and introduce yourself to them. Follow reporters on social media, this not only helps to develop a rapport with them, but oftentimes a reporter will post when they are looking for a particular interview.
- Keep up with current events and trends, particularly those that tie into your brand. Let the reporter know you’re available whenever an expert opinion is needed. Then reach out to them whenever you see a relevant topic trending.
- Create your own content. Recognize what your brand’s story is and how you can tell it in a compelling way. If that isn’t effective, consider ways your company can make a difference in the community and let the media know about it.
- Don’t overlook the smaller, hyper- local outlets and publications. Think of where your customers are and go there. These small publications can have a strong readership, as people like to know what’s going on in their community. They are also frequently looking for new content.
- Write pitches, press releases. See “10 Tips to get a reporter to cover your story” for a check list on writing your press release.
Obviously there are never any guarantees of media coverage. That’s why it’s extremely important to build your brand’s following on social media. But getting 4,000 Facebook followers isn’t enough if you aren’t keeping them engaged. The key is to continually develop new content that is informative and paints your brand in a positive light. And who knows? The new content you create may be just the story a reporter is looking for!