Monday, 23 February 2015

Do you want to get your business into the news?

Do you want to get your business into the news? Don’t make the mistake of believing that the media release you just sent out will do the trick. The reality surrounding media releases is that news outlets get flooded with them every day and there is no guarantee yours will even be noticed.
Journalists commonly complain that they receive media releases that have no real news story in them at all. If you visit the media page of different businesses, you will see what some try to pass off as media releases. It often makes me shake my head. Many look like they were copied out of a sales brochure. Here’s a hint: the media will almost never care about what you are selling, and they won’t advertise for free, so don’t try to disguise an advertisement as a media release.
Don’t worry. There are things you can do to make your business and media releases more notable. I always suggest my clients try to do something newsworthy. Here are some creative ideas to get your business in the news.
  1. Tie something charitable to changes in your company. Unless you are a heavy hitter in the business world, the media would rather report that you are donating your used computers to underprivileged children than tell them that you are expanding your business. If it happens that the reason you are donating the computers is because you are in growth mode and need to revamp your entire network, then you could probably get both elements of the story covered in one shot. Be sure to make an event out of the donation and invite the media to attend (don’t be surprised if they don’t). Be prepared to take lots of pictures of your own to include with your follow up news release, in case they need to dump you in the last minute to cover a major news event like an explosion.
  2. If you are launching a new product that is particularly innovative, then host a media event and invite the media to try it out! Anything the media can experience for themselves is especially beneficial. If your innovative product doesn’t pack an immediate visual punch, then approach select beat reporters to try it for a period of time and ask them to write about the effect (nutritional supplements are an example of such a product).
  3. Create an event around your business. Leverage your relationships with other businesses to host an event that is related to your industry. If you are a retailer, think in terms of fashion shows or expos. What you are doing to create the event might make a good feature article. Once again, anything you can do to tie the event to a charity is a bonus. Your good work in the community you serve is always news.
  4. Do something outstanding. Businesses that do things nobody else does have good story potential. For example, we know about Toms because their business model revolves around their social values. We know about Apple because their products are highly innovative. If you are the only one doing something, that could be news, depending on how you position yourself.
Be sure to get help from a qualified PR professional. You will need media kits (digital and hard copy) a snappy news release and media connections to get the coverage you are hoping for.
Renée Cormier is a Public Relations and Communications Specialist, published author, sales and marketing strategist and all round great gal! to contact.
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