A crucial part of marketing your business is getting press coverage. It’s a guaranteed way to put your brand in front of a large, usually local, audience. This can equal huge growth, except there’s one problem.
Press coverage seems impossibly hard to get.
This is because most of us have never learned how to do it. You can master every inbound and outbound marketing trick in the book but still run for cover when someone mentions a press release. It can also be intimidating. How do you possibly pitch to journalists and reporters that are probably getting dozens of requests just like yours every single day?
First, you don’t give up.
Second, you learn a few new tricks for getting the press coverage you want and need to grow your business. The more you know about something, the less intimidating it becomes. Getting press is no different.
Here are 6 strategies that will make getting press easier than you ever knew it could be.
Connect with Influencers
If you’re having trouble getting press, it’s time to reach out to someone who might have a bit more clout in the in the community. We’re talking about influencers, and they can be a small business’s best friend.
Influencers are people, usually with a sizable following, that help you promote your business. Small and medium-sized business can take advantage of local or industry-specific micro-influencers to help them gain attention from the press.
The theory is simple. The more of a following you have, the more interested the press is going to be in you. Audiences are more interested in news about personalities they already know than a new business that’s relatively unknown.
Influencers are an easy way to overcome this disadvantage.
Begin by searching for local micro-influencers that are already getting some press attention. Don’t be afraid to stalk their social media to see who’s interacting with them. Do you recognize any names from local media? How about posts that are media related? And, finally, do a Google search and see where their own PR is coming from.
Once you find someone you feel is a great fit for helping spread your brand’s message, start interacting with them. Become active on their social media, and soon they’ll begin to recognize your name. When commenting or messaging, make sure to mention your common interests, and what you both contribute to the community.
Influencers don’t always come free, but they’re more likely to partner up and help expose your business to the press if they value and respect what you’re offering. So, it’s important to build up a relationship with them before approaching them about an influencer opportunity.
Know Who You’re Pitching To
Reaching out to the press isn’t an intuitive thing. In fact, it’s something that most people don’t do even once in their lives. It’s natural that your first few attempts will come with some uncertainty, but you signed up your chances if you keep one thing in mind.
Know who you’re pitching to.
Different media outlets, although they might seem similar, vary widely in the type of press they give and the angle they take. You can pitch until you’re blue in the face, but if it’s not matched to the outlet then your PR efforts will be left cold.
It’s crucial to really understand each media outlet and their unique voice. For example, you might have two news outlets in your area. They need to take different angles for both to survive in the market. If you want press, it’s your job to learn what those differences are and craft a pitch that appeals to their general concept.
Finally, don’t waste time begging for press from dead-end outlets. If a local paper caters to the over 50 crowd, but your target market is in the 25-30 age bracket, it isn’t worth your time. Spend your resources where it matters, on outlets that match your business’s goals and audience.
Blog with a Focus on Evergreen Content
Here’s a tip. Getting the press you want takes some prep work.
Few people have the social standing to ask for press and get it instantly. That’s ok, you probably don’t want a life where the press is following your every move anyway. But, it would be nice every now and then.
One of the best ways to prep yourself for media coverage is by creating content that’s share-worthy. This means that if you haven’t started with that blog yet, now’s the time.
First, a blog can be a tool to get you noticed. It’s a chance to share your expertise, knowledge and maybe even a bit of wit with the rest of the world. The perk here is that your blog is sharable on social media, which means there’s a chance to expand your audience exponentially.
This is great, but how does it help you get press? Well, you’re going to focus on evergreen content. Evergreen means that something is timeless and provides value no matter if it was written last week or last year.
Most media outlets have blogs or at least opinion pieces on the websites. Once you’ve created fantastic content for your blog, your next goal is to get it shared in these venues. This might mean learning who manages the page or who the primary contributors are and then cozying up to them on social media to establish yourself and build a little recognition.
Is this strong press? Not exactly, but it is something, and it puts your name in front of the very people who can provide you with the press your business needs.
Newsjacking is the art of capitalizing on a popular news story to get a little press for yourself. Considering that there’s some type of breaking news going on in the world every second, there’s no shortage of opportunity. The main obstacle that businesses come up against with newsjacking is time.
Or lack of it.
Breaking news has a very short life cycle. It builds, it peaks and then it fizzles on the ground before it dies. Since you’re probably not clairvoyant, you don’t know when that peak will be, or how long it’s going to last. You need to jump in on the upward slope before it reaches its boiling point.
This tells you a bit about newsjacking, except how to do it. Rest easy, here are a few tips.
First, set up news alerts to clue you in on happenings in your industry.
Check activity daily for your keywords. See a spike in traffic? Find out what’s going on that has more people using it as a search term.
Don’t have tunnel vision and learn to reach beyond your own industry. For example, if you’re in the construction business, a surge in forest fires on the opposite coast can still be an opportunity to promote the value of your business when the unthinkable happens.
Act fast. When you spot a newsjack worthy event, don’t sit on it, not even for a day. Start creating content right now.
Post that content to social media and pitch it to media. Tag media that’s posted on the same story. For example. “Read more at…”.
This is also a prime opportunity to approach media and offer to be interviewed if you are seen as an authoritative expert in a relevant industry.
Tweet the Press
Want a way to get a journalist’s attention fast? It’s all about the tweet.
In the age of social media, a journalist or reporter that’s not on Twitter is a rare find.
For people in their industry, who are in the public eye, being on Twitter is almost a career essential. This is great news for you because Twitter is an excellent tool for making connections. All you need to do is learn their names and follow them on Twitter.
Then, get busy strategically crafting relevant tweets that include their Twitter @handle. Do this right, and you’ll get their attention. Just don’t go overboard. Remember they’ll get a notification each time you tweet at them, so take it easy and avoid looking like a crazed fan.
Be Active in The Community
Finally, the best way to get press in your community is to become part of it.
Getting out there and taking part in community activities and programs is a great way for your business to get recognized. Don’t miss an opportunity to become involved in community events, especially ones where the press is likely to show up. Everyone loves a team player that wears their community love on their sleeve.
Have you built up some confidence yet? Great! Now put it into action and start getting the press attention that’s going to help you crush your media building goals.