Ah, the media - the golden keys to publicity, more brand recognition, and more sales. Every day on TV or on a newspaper’s platform, you can see companies being promoted through news stories, interviews, and other organic PR. How do these businesses get featured on local outlets? Is it just luck? To some degree, perhaps, but you might be surprised at the truth: being newsworthy in the eyes of the media is really akin to a chess match, one you start playing even before you launch your business. Let’s delve into some strategies so that you can increase your chances of getting the publicity that can take your company to the next level and then some.
You won’t be surprised to learn that there are dozens, even hundreds, of businesses who are all vying for the attention of reporters. How can you get to the front? Well, it starts at the very beginning of your business career. Too many entrepreneurs don’t think about the media until their business is well-established. Yes, better late than never, but what is far more productive is a plan from day one. Otherwise, you will be playing a game of catch up, and that will only delay those bigger sales for you.
So, one of the first things you need to do is create a solid plan for how you will engage with the media. A lot of companies have a separate email - perhaps “press@XYZ.com” - and they check it religiously every day at specific times. Equally important is knowing who responds to it. It’s best to have it be the same person, preferably you, so that the messaging is always the same. Finally, have a system for tracking who contacted you, including their own contact information, and for responding very quickly to each inquiry. Remember: journalists are very busy, so as soon as you see their inquiry, respond, or you will risk them moving on to someone else. Never delay!
To get the attention of the media, you must first establish yourself online as a company with specific values, areas of expertise, mission, etc. This is why it is so important to begin early - it just takes time to put out on the Internet the articles, blogs, press releases, videos, and podcasts that can do this. In each one, make sure that you never deviate from what your company is and stands for. If you confuse a journalist or put out the wrong information, you will never hear from them.
No one likes someone who only wants something from them. So, don’t be a user - instead, be a giver. Be willing to offer free information, lend a quote or perspective when something big happens in the news, provide video or photos for a journalist’s article, etc. Be a cheerful source of information so that you make their work lives easier. That way, when they will develop a positive impression of you and be more likely to remember you for future pieces.
To get featured on the news, think long term. Very few journalists, if any, will be interested in you or your company if only you turn up here and there when you want publicity. Think of this as a long friendship, one that you need to invest in for years to come. Be authentic and transparent and try to see media professionals as people and not just a source of publicity.
It’s a good idea to visit the social media sites of outlets and make significant contributions to their posts. Watch for anything that relates to your industry and be ready to make meaningful comments in response. Avoid anything promotional and instead contribute to the conversation. That will help their own promotional efforts, endear you to them, and pay off down the line.
Get out of the office and away from your sales projections so that you can do good for those in your community. You are a business leader, and giving back is important. Your goal is to help others, of course, and to become more well-known, network, and increase awareness of your brand.
Every year, you should sit down and plan for the next 12 months of your company. Where will you be volunteering? What events will you be holding? Are there any anniversaries coming up (your 20th anniversary of being in business)? Could the media be interested in any of them? Mark those down on your calendar and begin strategizing well in advance how you will get coverage of them.
If you have laid the groundwork for relationships with the media and your community, then when something happens in the news that’s related to your industry, you will be on the list of people to be called. So, keep an eye out on what’s happening and always be ready with your opinion or insights.
Nothing happens overnight in public relations, and that is especially true with getting featured in the local news. Your biggest takeaway is to start strategizing now, not later so that you never miss any lucrative PR opportunities.
Imperium Group is an American public relations and marketing consultancy firm. Founded in 2016, it specializes in guaranteed placements, creating utmost transparency for its clients. Imperium Group generates over 15M impressions a month for its clients. Its team is based out of New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
For more information about Imperium Group, please see https://navigator.imperiumgrouppr.com/.