In 2016 I was invited to be on a panel of journalists giving advice on how small businesses could gain media coverage. It was a really interesting interactive event hosted by JournoLink where businesses could ask questions to the panel.
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 as I have people contacting me on a daily basis.
Here are a few of the top tips I shared with them:
- 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 of the above things and make sure they are at least 1000×1000 and 300dpi.
- Know your local publications
Know all your local publications and their target market, there’s no point sending out information to a magazine that writes for young families if your product relates to pensioners or vice versa. Also find out all the niche magazines that relate to your business. For example, if you own a campsite, find out all the publications relating to camping and nature.
- Send out an enquiry or press release
Find out the relevant person at the particular magazine to send your enquiry too. Bigger magazines 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.
- Follow up
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, your website and how they can contact you.
- Get a twitter and instagram account
Twitter and instagram is a fantastic way to reach the press as well as customers. I use 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 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.
Hope this helps you get some media coverage for your business! If you need any further help or advice, feel free to drop me a message!