How to Get Media Interest as a Small Business
Misconception: small businesses don’t interest the press
A common misconception when it comes to media relations is that journalists are not interested in stories from small businesses and that you need your business to be big enough or established enough to do PR.
Actually, journalists don’t think that way. Their primary goal is to write compelling articles which will be interesting, instructive or even inspiring to the final reader.
And to achieve that, they need to either find that newsworthy story they want to write about and which they think will get interest or find the people who will help build that story, reinforce it and give a human practical angle to the piece.
Journalists know a little bit of everything, but they can’t master every subject (and no one is asking them to). They are expected to investigate the subject before writing a piece about it. It’s the core of their profession. It’s what journalism is all about.
So they constantly need to find external commentators, whether it’s a scientific, a politician, an expert, a business or an individual.
And as a small business, you have plenty of things to say. You know your industry sector. You are an expert in what you do. And you also have stories to tell about being a small business. You know the challenges. Believe us, small businesses do interest the press!
Here are five ideas on how you can get media attention without being Coca Cola.
1. React on the news
The key when doing media outreach is to keep in mind what journalists want. We just said it, they need content or stories that they can write about and which they believe will interest their readers and which is topical. Your role – and your opportunity – is to provide that content or story.
One great way to do that is to react on what’s going on in the news or in your industry. You don’t have to create the story, it already exists and that makes things much easier. What do you think of this event? How does it impact your business or market? Journalists are looking for case studies and industry experts.
So make sure to always keep an eye on the news, particularly in your industry. Even if it’s only 5 minutes per day, that’s the best way to do PR.
2. Respond to media requests
“There is not much going on in our industry at the moment” I hear you say. And it is true that to react on something, you need something to happen and that’s not always the case.
One of the best and easiest ways to overcome this issue is to monitor media requests. Journalists are constantly looking for relevant commentators and to find them, they just ask. Again, no need to find a story, you can simply respond to a request. You simply need to be reactive to be among the first ones to respond.
To find these requests, you can monitor #JournoRequests on Twitter for instance of use a media requests service like JournoLink which send these requests directly to you.
3. Use your personal story
Another thing to consider is using your personal story or the ones of your staff. Journalists are also looking for stories from individuals who experienced specific things or are carrying out a specific professional/non professional activity for instance.
Even if is not directly linked to your business, it gives you an opportunity to talk about what you do. Most journalists will be happy to mention your business and to link back to your website in exchange for your contribution.
4. Keep an eye of publication forward features
Some publications like to share their editorial planning in advance. It’s a way to let PRs know the topics they’re planning to write about in the next few months and to start getting some related content. So regularly check out the forward features in publications that are interesting for your business. You could find a subject that it relevant to what you do and offer your contribution in advance.
To find these forward features lists, you can check the website or use a PR service that collects them.
5. Check out regular features on publication websites
Many publications and blogs have regular features sections. “A day in the life of” “Startup of the month”, etc. These are very easy to get into. You can simply reach out to the publication, explain why you are relevant and offer to share your story. It’s a very straightforward way to get covered and to talk about your business.
In conclusion, getting media interest is not a matter of finding the perfect story that will make the first page. On the contrary, the best way to achieve coverage is to take the time to listen and monitor what’s going on and to provide useful content to the right journalists at the right time.
Written by: Julie from JournoLink. JournoLink is an online PR platform designed to bridge the gap between SMEs and the media. The platform offers a range of services like a press release distribution system, a media requests function and a key dates calendar.
As part of our partnership with JournoLink , they’ve put together a Starter Package which gives Colbea members access to the platform for three months for only £99! Call 0330 1246560 for more information.
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