Check out this article from Janine Popick on Inc.com called 5 Easy Ways to Drum Up PR Coverage for some great ideas about how to get your small business in the news.
Small businesses, even more than large ones, need to keep expenses in check and find creative ways to get their brand out there. One way of doing that is to get news outlets to write stories about you for free. Getting in the news is great for your business for a few reasons:
- It gets your brand out there to an audience that you may not have otherwise been able to reach
If you get TV, magazine, or newspaper coverage you’re getting your name out to everyone that uses that news source so you can be sure that a large group of people in your community will see your brand when they otherwise may not have.
- It lends credibility to your business and builds the trust of potential customers
Because your business isn’t promoting itself to the public (though you most likely will have had to do some initial, behind the scenes promotion in order to get the coverage in the first place), the message is received more easily by your potential customers. They won’t look at a news story as a sales pitch and they’ll assume your business is legitimate if their trusted news source is giving you attention.
- It’s FREE!
Here are Popick’s tips for getting coverage (check out her article for more in depth descriptions):
- Run a cool contest
- Get your bling on
- Survey your customers
- Flaunt a success story
- Show growth
These are great tips! Thanks, Janine!
Here are a few more to make sure that your business gets the attention it deserves:
- Start small
Your small business probably isn’t going to make the front page of the New York Times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the PR machine. Contact your local papers, college alumni magazines, and industry periodicals to try to get featured. It’s often easier to show off as the big fish in a small pond than to try to get national attention.
- Know your niche, and your point of contact
Before you begin sending out your press releases, do some research and find out which publications and which reporters or editors would be particularly interested in the story you’re pitching. Don’t waste your time on something that is unlikely to happen when you could instead focus your energy on those who are most likely to be open to your idea.
- Team up
Try teaming up with another business or charity to tell a more compelling story and increase your chances of getting coverage. If you combine resources with another organization, you may be able to create a more exciting story. For example, Popick suggested hosting a contest. Great idea! Why not team up with another organization so that you can increase the value of the prize, double the number of people working to get the story out there, and have the additional option of pitching a story of small businesses working together to improve the community? Just make sure that your organization gets your fair share of the publicity.
What tips do you have for getting some free PR? Please share any ideas and success stories in the comments below!