Many startups don’t even think of courting the media about their small setup. But Journalists are always looking for stories of a local interest so don’t be put off.
People attach great importance to independent reviews, especially from a well-respected journalist, newspaper or magazine.
It gives credibility to your business and creates a buzz that people want to be part of.
Firstly, decide what you hope to gain from the free publicity.
Is it more:-
- website visits
- brand awareness
Or, all of these. Once you know what you’re aiming for you can then pitch your story accordingly. So, what will persuade journalists to give you and your business free publicity.
- Your story suggestions need to be relevant to your target audience. Journalists know exactly what their readers are interested in and if your story doesn’t fit their remit then it will be destined for the bin.
- Your business needs to stand out somehow to attract attention. Think of your USP, can you use that. Or, do you have a unique product or service to offer. What about you, are you a bit of a colourful character? Can you convey your passion for your niche.
- Position yourself as an expert within your niche. People love to buy from experts and Journalists will value your opinion on new things that are happening within your field.
- Offer something for free to your readers. It may be a small sample of your product with a guaranteed discount if the reader visits your website and order more.
- Provide the journalist with photos and literature of you and your business. Journalists will only have a set amount of time to speak to you and sometimes it isn’t enough to convey your message. Offering these resources not only saves time but gives them more to work with when weaving a good story and, of course, it’s all positive.
Once you’ve got your first bit of free publicity don’t rest on your laurels. You need to stay in the public eye and journalists will need to remember you so it’s a good idea to stay friendly with them, offer a follow up, offer free advice about a newsworthy event that’s happening in your niche – anything to keep the free publicity going.