Media coverage and your business: how do you make it happen?
In Part One of this series we looked at why media coverage is so important for you and your business. Part Two is about how to secure media coverage and see your business’ name up in lights!
Most PR agencies will suggest that you send media releases or media kits to as many journalists as possible in the hopes of generating positive coverage for your business. However, for many small-to-medium sized businesses, this technique rarely works. While there are some instances where a media release or a media kit would be appropriate, they are not an effective public relations tool for all businesses and all situations, and as such should not be your only method of generating media coverage.
There are many other ways of getting media coverage that are often better options for small-to-medium sized businesses. These options also take the smaller budgets of SMEs into consideration. They include:
These are articles where you are attributed and with your name attached. Often your company name, website, a short bio and a photo of you are also included in the author line (byline). These articles provide helpful advice, how-to tips, bold commentary and explanations on specific topics of interest. Published in targeted media outlets such as business magazines or industry publications, by-lined articles help to boost your profile as a sought-after expert.
These articles provide your passionate opinion on topics relating to your industry and topics in which you are an expert. Some typical themes include: busting myths, exposing money-wasting schemes, opinions that are different to common belief or calls for debates.
If you have a client case study of a business that has used your products or services and significantly increased their ROI, you can share the ‘success story’ with media outlets. When put together in the right format with the right information and materials, media outlets love good case studies!
Participating in scheduled features and interview opportunities
PR agencies with good relationships with key media representatives can put you forward as a spokesperson for interviews or as a case study for scheduled feature articles and news pieces. Proactive PR agencies will know what feature articles will be scheduled to appear in advance (e.g. tax special in June edition of a business magazine).
It’s important to note that media relations is about offering media outlets information that is strictly ‘newsworthy’. If your message is something that you would normally say with an advertisement, for example an announcement that your business is having a stocktake sale or that you are better than your competitors, then this is not newsworthy. Wasting a journalist’s time is not a good media strategy!
Good PR agencies will know what media angles and approaches will work best for your business. They will base this on an understanding of the media, your business, its goals, its unique selling propositions, the industry that it operates within and, of course, your ideal customers. Taking all of these factors into consideration is the only way to ensure that the positive coverage you get is effective in helping you to grow your business.
Stay tuned for Part Three of this series, in which we’ll look at how to select a quality PR agency.
In the interim, I’d love to hear from you.
Have you ever managed to secure some positive media coverage for your business? How did you do it?