Public relations is often a job that falls on the owner and staff of new small businesses, because they usually don't have the budget to cover it. Here are four tips, from Business to Community, to attract the media’s attention and build buzz about your business:
- Connect with the right journalists. Become an expert in local traditional media. Read local newspapers, watch local television channels and listen to the radio. Pay attention to the stories each journalist covers. Search for niche websites and publications that fit your offerings. Take note of the people who are focused on areas related to your industry, then reach out to the people who would be most interested in your story and let them know that you took the time to find out what their interests are.
- Craft the perfect message. Draw attention to the things that make your business stand out from the others in the industry. Pay attention to current events, and try to find ways to connect your products and services to the news. Jennifer Maloney, in an article for entrepreneur.com, encouraged sharing fresh perspectives and letting people in on the unique factor that helps business solve problems. She said, “Be consistent and vocal about relevant issues in your space that are open for debate.” Explain what has put you in the prime position to speak to issues and take advantage of thought leadership opportunities.
- Make the right pitch. Word choice and tone can determine the success of your pitch. Remember that journalists get far more pitches than they could ever follow. You have to give them a reason to pay attention to yours. Make your offering stand out from everything else in the market, and craft your message to reach your target audience. If you are trying to reach people with children, for example, share a personal parenting story and relate it to the ways your product can make life easier.
- Follow up. Keep in touch with journalists who express interest in your business. Send them samples and find ways to keep your story at the front of their minds. It is important to maintain contact with journalists as they always have numerous projects going on at once. In smallbiztrends.com, Marge Zable Fisher pointed out that small business owners handling their own PR often falter in the follow up stage. Even when the media expresses interest, you have to take responsibility for contacting them as needed. Journalists do not need to write about your business, so you have to sell them on it and make it easy for them to work with you.