In 2016 I was invited by JournoLink to be on a panel of journalists at a small business event. The panel discussion focused on small business media coverage and how local companies could capture media attention.
It was nerve-wracking for me as I’d never done anything like it before, but I had lots of advice for the business owners that I was able to share. Gaining media coverage can be tricky, especially in this fast-paced digital world. But if you understand what the publication is looking for, then it becomes much easier.
Here are a few of the top tips I shared with the panel…
Have great images
If you don’t have a big marketing budget (who does these days!) the two things I would definitely invest in is a very good website and high quality, high resolution images of your product(s), business and yourself. It’s one of the most difficult parts of my job, trying to get good quality images that aren’t too small for print. If you want to ensure media coverage, have jpeg images ready and make sure they are at least 1000×1000 and 300 dpi.
Know your local publications
Know all of your local publications and their target markets. There’s no point sending out information to a magazine that writes for young families if your product relates to pensioners or vice versa.
You can also research all the niche magazines that relate to your business. For example, if you own a campsite, find out about all the publications relating to camping.
Send out an enquiry or press release
Once you know which publication you are targeting, find the relevant journalist. Most magazines include email addresses for enquiries, if not you can search on their websites.
Larger titles will have features editors, but you could also reach out to editorial assistants or editors. Check the flannel panel (the section of the magazine with the writers’ details and contact information) and see if they give out individual emails or a general email address.
It’s important that your press release has an interesting story that will engage the reader. Test out your idea on a friend or relative – if they aren’t interested, the reader certainly won’t be! Find a different angle or a new way to talk about your business and ALWAYS think about the reader. If you’d like more information about writing a blooming good press release, contact me here.
Follow up your enquiry, but don’t harass. Journalists are busy people and they don’t have the time to reply to every enquiry and press release they receive. Make sure you have given them a brief overview of your business and how it would make a good story for their particular publication within your press release. Provide a photo, website and how they can contact you.
Set up a Twitter and Instagram account
Twitter and Instagram is a fantastic way to reach the press as well as customers. As a journalist and blogger, I will often go to social media to find new businesses and local interest stories. Social media is where I find most of my stories about new launches and products these days.
Follow all the publications and websites you’d like to be seen in and interact with their posts so that they notice you. It’s also worth following influential bloggers that might be interested in your business. Tweet about your new products, but also tweet with personality, as a good story often comes from the people behind the business, not just the product.
Put plenty of information on your website
The more information you put on your website the better. A good ‘About’ section is essential. Let people know who you are, why you started the business and some personal, but professional anecdotes about the company. Maybe you started the business to spend more time with your children, or you’d always baked with your grandparents and finally took the leap to start your own wedding cake business; the more the journalist already knows, the more intrigued they will be to write a story about you.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you to gain some media coverage for your business! If you need any further help or advice, feel free to drop me a message.
Find out more about bloom’s press release writing service here.
Written by Georgia Watson
Founder of Bloom Content Creation