Small Business Public Relations – Let Media Know You Are Available

You stay on the cutting edge of your industry, provide quality service, can discuss relevant issues better than most, and you are available. So why do media outlets choose to call your colleagues and competitors when they want expert interviews? Most likely, those colleagues and competitors have taken simple and persistent steps to make their presence known. And their efforts pay off big. Each time they appear they are building credibility, visibility and reaching new customers.

People often assume media outlets select “experts” because they are industry giants who out-perform everyone in their class. In reality, producers, editors and reporters know the best perspectives often come from smaller organizations and lesser-known individuals whose customers, communities and daily operations are directly affected by current events and trends. Media outlets are looking for knowledgeable people who can offer a clear, concise analysis of the topic of the day.

So what is the difference between you and the guy who always shows up in the papers, on radio and television? The answer is simple. That guy has implemented a media strategy, often at little to no cost. You have the ability to generate coverage too.

Begin boosting your visibility Business Management School with 8 simple steps.

Identify unique selling points that qualify you and/or your organization to offer expertise. This is not a time to boast about your products and services or how great you are. Instead, focus on how your products, services and knowledge can help solve people’s problems.

Make a list of topics you can discuss in ways that can improve the knowledge, experiences or lives of a given media outlet’s audience.

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Incorporate your ideas in a press packet including a press release pitching one of your story ideas. Other features of the packet might include brochures, fact sheets, a company profile, your bio, and promotional CDs/DVDs.

Make sure your press packet clearly reflects your brand. What do you want people to say about your company after viewing the materials? Does the press packet send that message?

Compile a media mailing list based on your target audience. What publications, broadcast outlets and online news services cater to your target audience? Who should be your key contact at each outlet?

Distribute your press packet early–at least two months to two weeks before you want your story published, depending on the deadlines of the agencies you are contacting (deadlines for a monthly magazine will be different from those for a daily newscast).

Follow up with brief telephone calls to ensure that each contact has received your materials and offer to answer any questions they Best Online Business In Uk may have. Some may ask you to send the materials again. Do not pressure contacts as to whether or not they will cover a story.

Evaluate your business on a regular basis, maybe weekly or monthly, and determine if any new developments warrant media attention. Issue a release at every opportunity, but only when you can offer true news value.

Do not be discouraged if the answer to your pitch is “no”. It is not unusual for organizations to issue multiple releases before getting even one “yes”. Persistence is the key. The idea is to begin developing name recognition with producers, editors and reporters who may add you to their database and call when you least expect, all because you have taken the time to let them know you are here.

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