There are lots of reasons why people might want to hear about your business, and they’re all about those people.
Your success in attracting media coverage is dependent on your ability to think about what journalists and their readers find interesting. You need to recognise in your publicity campaigns that something that’s great news for your business might not be of interest to anyone outside your immediate family.
So how do you go about securing publicity? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
What trends are you seeing in your business?
By identifying the pain points that bring clients to your business, you can begin to suss out new story angles you can use to attract media interest.
For example, if you’ve had a phenomenal spike in sales, work out why. That you’ve made more sales is not news in itself. But if you can determine why people are coming to you all of a sudden, you’ve found your news hook.
People may be seeking particular services or buying in a particular type of product or taking advantage of a new grant or tax loophole. Suss out the background and develop your news story from there.
Done anything new lately?
Do you have a new product or service? Is it new to you or to the market in general? Rather than shouting about all the features and benefits of your new offering, have a think about what makes it unique in the market and pitch your story from that angle.
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Go niche as often as you can
If you offer mobile dog grooming especially for show dogs, don’t simply promote your service and hope to stand out from all the other dog groomers. Instead pitch a story about the pressures pet-owners face on the dog show circuit.
You come across as an expert (you’re at the shows, you’ve seen the stress first hand) and readers in your target market will make connections based on that. This angle also gives you an opportunity to mention that one way to relieve the pre-show pressure is to use a specialist like yourself to groom the dog.
Philanthropy is another news hook, as long as you’re being genuine and authentic in your involvement. If you’ve donated time, product or money to a charity and wish to get some local coverage associated with your generosity, approach the local paper. Concentrate on providing good quotes about the charity and the valuable work they do, and only mention your donation in passing.
Remember, it’s not about you. It’s all about them. The difference is subtle, but important. Publicity and PR are about influencing opinions, which then reflect positively back to you.
Forget how fast, how bright, how shiny. Focus on why
Don’t focus on your widget’s features. Instead, get publicity for clients who are doing something amazing with one of your widgets. Focus on why your widget has helped them, not how. Highlight their achievements to a trade publication and keep the story about the client. Not only will you strengthen your client relationships, your product will be shown in exactly the light it should be to attract other potential clients.
Slot into existing opportunities
Finally, your products might be wonderful but not necessarily stand-out unique. That’s not to say you can’t get great publicity. Research the media your target audience would read or listen to. Call up the media organisations and ask for a list of upcoming features. Then try your hand at placing your products as part of a wider feature or buyer’s guide – or send them to a stylist for inclusion in a photo-shoot with other products. Register with SourceBottle, a free service that emails ‘call outs’ for sources from journalists and bloggers.
How’s your DIY publicity campaign going? Brag about your successes below and inspire us all.