You don’t have to be a wordsmith to get publicity about your business. All it takes is a newsworthy topic, a bit of effort and a little luck.
Is it News?
First and foremost, something about your business needs to be of interest to the media outlet(s) you’re hoping will do a story. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your business new?
- Are you selling a unique product or doing something in a unique way?
- Is there something about your product or service that’s the first, biggest, smallest, most unusual, etc.?
- Is your business helping others?
Bullets Will Do
Once you decide you have a newsworthy story, your next step is letting the media know about it. You can pick up the phone and call, but research shows most media prefer receiving story pitches via email. That leaves you with the option of writing, and that’s where people often get uncomfortable.
If you don’t have strong writing skills, there’s no need to worry. A news release or story pitch doesn’t have to be an award-winning piece of prose. They can, in fact, be as simple as a bulleted list answering the questions of “who?” “what?” “when?” “where?” “why?” and “how?” Add “how much?” and “so what?” and you have everything you need to tell your story.
Be sure to include your name, business name, address, email address and a phone number where you can be reached.
If you need a media list, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I use Cision software, an online media database that can be searched using a variety of criteria such as outlet location, topics, circulation for print media, unique views per month for online media, etc.
Once you identify the media outlets and appropriate contacts to which you want to send your release, the next step is as simple as sending an email.
If you’re still unsure about what to do to get your story told by the media, feel free to reach out to me. I’m happy to give advice and make suggestions, especially to people who own small businesses and don’t often reach out to the media.