By Jennifer Friedlin, Hungry Marketing Founder
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5 Tips for Getting Great PR
Social media may be the rage, but building a fan base on social channels takes a great deal of time, effort, and money. While your business certainly needs a social presence to appear relevant, a traditional media push can get you in front of millions of potential customers. This can not only jumpstart sales, it can also catapult your social media following.
Here are five tips for building a media campaign without breaking the bank.
Tip 1: Consider your audience.
Who are your ideal customers? Are they stay at home moms? Fitness fanatics? Dads who love to grill? Think about what publications your ideal customers are likely to read and create a spreadsheet listing the names of each of the outlets. Once you have that spreadsheet categorize the publications according to the size of their audience and the likelihood that they would be interested in running a story about your company. For example, you might be dying for the Today Show to feature your line of sauces but your company hasn’t brought a new product to market recently. Don’t waste your time pitching the Today Show now. Better to wait until that new killer sauce you are developing hits the shelves. That said, you might still be able to land your story in a smaller publication. As long as the publication reaches your ideal customer, go for it.
Tip 2: Give the journalist a reason to cover your story.
Sure, your bakery sells beautiful wedding cakes, but why should a journalist feature you? Every story needs a hook. Sometimes the hook is the novelty of the product. Sometimes the creator has a great story. Holidays and seasonality also offer great angles. Contact journalists in advance of June wedding season and your wedding creations might just end up in Brides magazine.
Tip 3: Position yourself as an expert.
What insights could you offer a journalist? Let’s say you own a supermarket and the price of produce has recently spiked due to huge rain storms in California. Contact business reporters who cover consumer trends and let them know you are available to weigh in. You can also sign up for the daily newsletter “Help a Reporter Out” at (helpareporter.com) to find out if any journalists are looking for an expert just like you.
Tip 4: Make the journalists’ job easy.
When you reach out to journalists whether in a phone call or a press release announcing your story make sure your angle is clear and be succinct. Avoid jargon and make sure to provide a quote that is short, pithy, and compelling. This way, a journalist can easily grasp your story and its significance. And, if they use your press release as the basis of their article they will have a great quote all queued up.
Tip 5: Be persistent.
Don’t just send a press release and wait. Follow up with a phone call. Chances are you’ll need to reach out a few times before you connect with the journalist you are trying to reach. If they seem hurried and uninterested, ask them if there is another time to talk. Keep after them until you get a firm yes or no. If it’s a no, then ask why they are not interested. Their answer will give you valuable information for honing your pitch. If it’s a yes, well congratulations. You are on your way to greater visibility.