Small Business…Big Coverage!
Chief Content Officer Jon Gelberg shares his success
I am not saying anything revolutionary when I say that positive publicity can be a gold mine for businesses large and small.
P.T. Barnum- credited as the father of modern public relations- put it best: “I am indebted to the press of the United States for almost every dollar which I possess.”
Barnum’s words have never rung more true.
In today’s highly competitive economy, businesses look for every possible edge on the competition. Positive press can provide a huge boost to any business. It can turn an unknown start-up into an overnight sensation. It can build credibility. It can get the attention of a huge untapped market.
Twenty years ago, there were precious few outlets for businesses looking for publicity. There were a limited number of magazines, newspapers, television stations and radio stations and large, established businesses seemed to have a near monopoly on press coverage.
With the advent of the internet, the playing field has been nearly leveled.
There are hundreds of television and radio stations and thousands (if not millions) of web sites and bloggers looking for stories.
The good news is that you don’t have to be Apple or Google or Sony to get the attention of the press. All you need is an understanding of how the press (and online media) works and how best to get on their radar.
Do Your Homework
To get media coverage, you must take the time to find out who is writing about subjects relating to your business.
A few great tools for finding this out are HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and Muck Rack. HARO provides three daily e-mails in which reporters/bloggers looking for expert sources present their queries. Expert sources are then given the opportunity to “pitch” the reporter/blogger.
Muck Rack is a site that aggregates the Twitter feeds of reporters from a wide variety of media outlets. This gives you the opportunity to see what they are talking about and responding to them- in real time.
For “cold calls,” the best way to proceed is to find out the online editor for the media outlet you are looking to pitch. For example, if you are going after a business story, every major newspaper and online media outlet has a business editor. Also, if your business serves a certain niche (children, women, health, etc.) then find the reporters/editors covering those beats.