Why press coverage is great for business and how to generate it

Getting media coverage for your business is a fab way to raise your profile build brand awarenes get your name out there and generate more leads. But paying for advertising can be costly – a one-page advert in a national newspaper will set you back several thousand pounds and even ads in local papers can cost hundreds. So some well-planned PR can be a brilliant alternative.

Not only will you save money, it can actually often be a more effective way of promoting your business because you are increasing your visibility and establishing yourself as an authority in your field, without having to sell to people.

So how do you go about getting media coverage for your business? Take a look at this step-by-step guide for getting your small business in the press…

  1.  Find an angle

You need to think about what aspect of your business could be newsworthy. Ideas for a news story include:

  • A new business launch/opening of a shop
  • A milestone in your business – ten years of trading, etc
  • Charity work you or your business is involved in
  • Winning an industry award for your business
  • A competition your business is running
  • Expanding your product line or services

2.  Create a press release

The next thing you need is a well-written press release to send out to media outlets. Your press release is the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of your story. Write in a way that’s easy for the journalist to understand, and include a headline that will catch the journalist’s eye. Keep it clear and concise, and ensure your spelling and grammar are correct. Make sure you include all the relevant information in the release, including ways the journalist can contact you. If in doubt, consider hiring a copywriter to write a press release for you.

3. Research appropriate media outlets

Look at which media outlets you should get in touch with – think about local and regional newspapers and magazines, specialist publications, national newspapers and magazines, websites, and TV and radio. Look at the stories they tend to feature, and think about how your business could fit in.

4. Find an image to accompany the story

Think about relevant images that could be used to accompany your story – a photo of your new products, a snap of a recent open day, or perhaps a professional shot of yourself.

5. Email your press release

Call up the publications you’re interested in targeting, and find out who to contact with a press release. Then send it via email. Make sure you use a subject line that clearly explains what the release is about. If you have got any relevant images to include, send a low-res version in the first instance, and make sure you have high-res versions on hand if the journalist asks for them.

6. Be prepared

Dina picPrepared to give the journalist whatever information they need for a potential story or feature, at short notice. Depending on your industry area and which media outlet your are dealing with, you may be expected to provide interviews, expert comment, images, case studies, product samples or items for a give-away.

7. Shout about your coverage

When you do get some media coverage, don’t forget to shout about it. Put a link on your blog or website, tell your Twitter and Facebook followers, and mention it in your regular newsletter.

Dina Behrman is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She runs Dina Behrman Communications, offering PR, copywriting and social media services. Find her on Twitter or join her on Facebook. Contact her for help writing a press release, or for a one-to-one ‘get my business in the press’ session.

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