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Business Growth Tip: Get More Publicity by Engaging With the Media

Have you ever considered getting your business more publicity on popular local news websites? How about some favorable coverage on a radio program, or a human angle story on TV that features your work? What would this do for your enterprise?

Maybe you’re shaking your head as you think about the costs you’d have to cover to make any of these things happen. Yes, advert prices for the best slots on primetime radio and TV are very high. But is there a way to get on these media channels without burning so much money?

Actually, there are ways to achieve this. And in this article, we’ll be presenting you with a few of these tried and tested means of putting a business in front of the millions of persons who consume content on traditional media every day.

First off, Make Sure You Have a Great Product

What is it about your product or service that’ll interest the media where you’re at?

Newspaper features typically cover items that their editors think will grab the public’s attention. If you want to capture anyone’s gaze- whether they’re in the media or on the street –you want to be sure that you’re giving them something they’re willing to spend minutes of their day on.

It certainly helps if yours is an enterprise doing something innovative, i.e. meeting a widespread need in a novel way. Journalists want material with at least a touch of freshness to it. They’re not very likely to look your way if you’re doing the same old stuff everyone else does- unless you foot the bills for it. We’re assuming you don’t want to pay mega bucks for adverts, so having a superb product should be first priority for you.

Having discussed the initial condition for getting on the media’s radar, let’s dive into the targeted steps you could take to have them feature it in their content.

1. Send Out Press Releases

A press release is a write up produced by organizations about some newsworthy event or achievement with which they’re involved and is meant to be published on news platforms.

That brief definition up there suggests a couple of things you should get right if you’re going to be sending out a press release:

1. It has to be about something worth the media’s attention- and by extension, the public’s interest.

2. It should be relaying news about an achievement you’ve made or an important project you’re planning or are undertaking. Examples would be events you’re organizing, awards received, or high profile partnerships community development projects.       

3. It’s for news outlets, so it has to be properly written. If you or no one else at your small business can write a press release, you may hire a professional copywriter to do it.

Before you send out a press release, research the media organizations you’re looking to get it to. Are they known for publishing such material? And are you certain you’ll reach your target audience with them? What’s the size of their readership?

A little qualifier here: you may want to establish some kind of prior relationship with the media houses you’re sending your press releases to, so you know what they might require from you in return. Otherwise, your emails will get lost in your intended recipient’s spam box, or be sent to their trash bin without attracting a second look. It helps if you’ve built some degree of local presence; the more widely known a business is, the less likely emails from it will be ignored.

2. Win an Award

We hinted at this when we talked about the contents of your press release. Clinching an award could get you extra publicity. And if it’s a really big one, you might see the media’s attention on your business skyrocket.

But, as you’re probably already saying to yourself, awards aren’t plucked from trees. There’s only one sure route to take if you’re going to win any: do good work, get noticed for it, enter or get nominated for an award, and hopefully, you’ll take it home.

The hard part is actually landing a spot on any prestigious prize-giving program. Apart from being superb at what you do (something we’ve already suggested), you should be on the lookout for any of such opportunities. They pop up once in a while, but there are a good number of them. Again, if you have a great relationship with your customers, they might even recommend or nominate you for an award.

3. Get Involved With Charity

Sometimes, news media does get away from dark and dreary headlines to report good work going on in the world. Their audience needs it, just as much as they do. You could be the one to provide them with the next soul-lifting content.

While charitable giving and community development shouldn’t be done for the cameras, the goodwill that emanates from it certainly helps to raise the givers’ public profile.  If it’s considered newsworthy by media standards, you’ll probably be able to attract a couple of journalists to cover it.

Partnering with a bigger, more prominent organization on CSRs might be a route you’d want to take here. This could be beneficial on many fronts.  There’s the stronger impact you could make on the communities you want to serve. The relationship you’ll be building with a possible industry leader, and the possible access to new markets that comes with it, are potential wins from this. Getting spotlighted by newspapers and popular blogs is yet another.

4. Build Relationships With Media People

This is for when you want to send out press releases, get coverage for your CSRs, and maybe have a feature of some sort on their platforms. It’s much easier to do these things if you’re friends with journalists who you can call to give you a leg in with the media houses they work for. They may not be able to cut the costs for you, but they could let you get more consideration with their people than if you were a total stranger.

Featured image source: Entrepreneur

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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