Almost every business wants to see themselves in the news. And why not? It’s a great way to reach your target market, share your story and get a bit of free advertising. So how do you go about getting yourself and your company into a newspaper? It just takes a little bit of good old pubic relations.
First you need to have something of interest to share. Is your business just launching? This is a great time to get in the news as newspapers love to announce new businesses, especially local newspapers. The first step would be to write up a brief article about your business, where it is located, who it serves and why it opened. Include quotes from the owner and plenty of contact information so that the media can reach you. And don’t forget a photo or two. This is also a great time to partner with a local chamber of commerce and host a ribbon cutting ceremony and send a photo of that to the newspaper.
If you’ve been open a while, using this tactic might not be the best option, but there are still plenty of ways to get your company into the media. Have you supported a charity recently? Submit a photo of the donation or event with a caption to the local newspaper or find a blog online that supports your industry. Have you hired a new rock star worthy of mention? Many business publications and daily newspapers have a section where they feature new employees on the rise in local companies.
Another option is to put together an event at your place of business and partner with other neighbor businesses. One great way to assure coverage is to partner with a non-profit. Not only are you giving back to your community, but you greatly increase your chances of a mention in the newspaper this way, even if it’s just a brief mention on the events calendar. Every mention counts because it means eyeballs have seen your company’s name in association with good and charitable works.
Another route to consider is to write articles based on your expertise. Run a mechanic shop? Give out an article of best car maintenance tips for modern vehicles with computers. Run an online shop selling health products? Write an article on your top ten tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle, add your bio and start sending to newspapers and blogs. Are you a local dentist? Can you get involved with local charitable groups and share pictures from the events with the local newspaper?
Now, realize that there is no guarantee that your article or news event will make it into a newspaper and you have to also make sure you send it to the right person at the media outlet. That’s why it’s sometimes imperative that you partner with a public relations specialist who may already have relationships with the media or know exactly how to find who to send the information too. They also can help target the publication that will reach your target audience. As a special point of note, if you are already spending advertising dollars with a publication, you should definitely start talking to their editor or reporter to see about submitting a monthly column and definitely submit your news to them!
There is a particular format to writing press releases, but we’ll cover that topic another day. A good PR specialist can help you draft an article that has a higher chance of getting accepted because it’s written in the style of the newspaper already.