Starting a company is not a guaranteed winner – it never has been. A company can offer a great product, but you have to get in the media to tell the world you exist in order to get the business you want or need. Obtaining media exposure is both easy and challenging. It is easier because with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, there are outlets that did not exist 10 years ago. It is challenging, because early on, generating all of your interest depends on you.
With a little know-how, getting people interested in your business will not be that difficult at all. Some patience, persistence, and these tips will get you seen in the media and get the ball rolling for you.
1. Get to Know the Media: If you want to be covered by the media, you have to read, watch and listen to the outlets where you hope to be featured. By doing so, you’ll start to gain a better understanding of what news outlets are covering. For instance, Ars Technica and Gizmodo have a much different audience than Dulce Candy does.
Reporters typically have a subject area that he or she covers. When you find a story about your type of business, take note of the reporter’s bylines. These are most likely the people covering your business or industry. Contact information for reporters is often easy to find on the media outlet’s website or by calling the general phone number. Find this information, and you can create a target media list and keep it on file.
2. Develop Interesting Stories: Now that you know your media audience, you need to identify various story angles where your business would be highlighted. Think about new developments: has the industry had a recent change? Writers care about creating interest for their readers. You need to keep this in mind when you write about your business.
3. Start Reaching Out: Once you a story idea, to get in the media put together a compelling press release. Keep it brief, but provide interesting and relevant information. Stay scarce on the details. Reporters will come to you if they want more information.
4. Stay On Top Of The Story: After getting one or two outlets to talk about you, do not let that be your only media hit. Reporters are always looking for story ideas, and if you position yourself as an industry expert, you increase the chance that reporters will reach out to you. Build and maintain those relationships to keep your exposure strong.
5. Network: Public relations isn’t always about getting your business covered by the news media. It is also about generating word-of-mouth and buzz within the community. Attending networking events, joining trade associations, and identifying groups where your customers belong is an essential part of building your business. Remember, you are the best PR representative for your brand.
It will also help to get in the media if you create a startup blog on your own website. Early on, this should be updated two to three times a week. By doing this, and being persistent, your business will begin to see media hits.