How do you stand out in a crowded industry?
For a small business owner, that’s the million-dollar question. What can you do to raise your visibility and connect with more potential customers? How can you be the first person someone thinks of when searching for your product or service? And how can you do this on a budget?
Some people go straight for the paid promotion possibilities. The options for your advertising dollar are endless: Facebook ads, radio spots, TV commercials, billboards.
But what about getting some great PR, what’s known as “earned media?” That’s when a reporter features you in a news segment or interviews you for an article.
You’ve seen the stories. Maybe you’re watching the news and there it is, your biggest competitor featured on a TV news report, or you open up the newspaper, and you see your neighbor interviewed for an article. Maybe you hop in the car, turn on the radio, and you hear another industry leader sharing thoughts in a live segment.
That could be you in those spots. Really.
You don’t pay for that kind of attention. You earn it by attracting the attention of a journalist to your story, which is why it’s called “earned” media.
But entrepreneurs often are paralyzed by the unknown and fail to make the pitch to the media in the first place. They don’t know where to start, they aren’t sure which reporter to contact, they don’t know what they would say to that reporter anyway. And so they do nothing.
As a result, they miss out on opportunities, see the news, and wonder, “How can I make that happen for myself?”
This article is designed to give you the knowledge you need so you can stop wondering. You will learn what you should send in a media pitch and what you need to do to connect with a journalist who has the power to share your story with his/her audience.
What are the possibilities of great press?
First, think for a moment. What would great press do for your business?
Could it put you on the map in terms of recognition for your products or services? Could it create buzz for your brand? How about a place where you can simply share how passionate you are about your industry?
The possibilities are endless once you learn the skill of building relationships with reporters.
Getting media attention isn’t hard, as long as you know what to do. Let’s get started.
What’s your story?
Everything starts with your story. And you know your story better than anyone.
Let me tell you one first.
Meet Eric, a struggling business owner. He can’t figure out how to get customers. He’s like many new business owners who are struggling to find his niche. But he doesn’t quite connect with his target audience before his money runs out and he is forced to close up shop.
That’s the reality of too many business owners. Is this a news story in the making? Not unless a reporter is doing a story on failed ventures. This story ends here, sadly.
Opportunities are everywhere
The one thing you should realize about pitching the media is this: reporters are always looking for stories. They don’t have a formula, though, for what makes up a great one. They simply know it when they hear it.
Your fresh and original approach to pitching your idea can very well work in your favor.
Compare that first story to this one.
A successful businesswoman is passionate about giving back. She creates a foundation to support young women in their pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams. She hosts a summer camp and brings together almost two dozen teenagers to give them a business boot camp experience like they have never seen before.
There’s quite a bit more to this story, isn’t there?
In this case, this story shares the journey of a female entrepreneur who wants to make change in her community.
It brings community groups together – entrepreneurs as well as students who wish to pursue their dreams of becoming business owners.
And, it inspires others.
How can you take this information and turn it into something that helps you get media attention for your business? Answers are in Part 2 of my 3-part series, “The Ultimate DIY Guide to Getting Great Press.”