For small businesses and entrepreneurs, there are a variety of opportunities to promote yourself and drive customers to your business.
Its crucial to first understand what makes a great story and how the public relations process works.
Contacting journalists is free, and with the fast pace of the media cycle, reporters across the globe are constantly looking for new content.
Public relations is not paid advertising, its unpaid editorial and that’s why it’s so valuable.
Essentially because it is written by a journalist in a way that can powerfully effect an audience.
If you do it in the right way, getting published in the mainstream media lets your market know what you do and how well you do it. It is possible to ditch expensive PR firms, and generate free publicity so that you can become an expert in your field.
Here’s my top tips to getting published in the media:
Identify a news angle
Effective public relations is about writing interesting and engaging content that people want to read about. So when thinking about your business try not to write a summary or sales pitch.
Instead think about how what you do could fit in to any emerging trends, upcoming community events or topics the media love to cover. Good public relations is about finding the news angle, generating media interest and knowing what journalists want to write about.
Start reading the newspaper yourself and start noticing what makes a story interesting.
A journalist’s number one priority is coming up with interesting and engaging content that will sell papers, boost ratings and get attention, not promoting businesses.
Target the release to your audience.
You wouldn’t try and sell your product or service to someone who didn’t want to buy it. It’s the same as trying to target the wrong journalist to publish your story.
Education writers write about education, business writers write about business.
So identify what publications your consumers are reading and contact the reporters at those papers.
A great place to start is your local newspaper as the journalist there are often in the early stages of their career and are hungry for a story.
Write a press release
Before you start writing get really clear about the news angle you have identified and ask yourself if it is interesting. Is it something you would like to read about? If you find it a tad dull then chances are that everyone else will too.
When you are writing try to not make the press release all about you or your product.
Can you can put it in broader terms about some emerging trends or provide some interesting statistics?
You can write your pitch in the body of the email – two to three sentences maximum and then either attach the media release in the body of the email or attach it in a PDF or word document format.
Make sure your spelling and punctuation are in order and if in doubt – ask someone who works in the industry to look over it. Keep your sentences short and snappy when writing a media release. You don’t need to write more than a page. It’s more engaging and easier to read.
The first sentence generally contains a hook to activate the reader’s attention. Then it’s just a matter of filling in the information.
The most important piece of information should be first, with the least at the end. If the journalist is interested in your story they will call you to arrange an interview on the phone, to see what photo opportunities are available or to request further information.
If you follow these tips you will be well on your way to coming up with an attention-grabbing pitch that will land you in the media!
About the author
Jessica Evans is a media and publicity expert with more than five years’ experience writing for leading daily newspapers and media outlets in Australia.
Her goal is to show people in business how to increase their media knowledge, amplify their brand, boost sales and stand out from the crowd.
She helps people dream big, become financially independent and take massive action to create real results in life and business.
Jessica runs workshops and events across the country about media engagement.
To reach out and get in touch or to learn more about PR for your business email email@example.com.
For more information – www.jessicaevans.com.au