In today’s social media-dominated world, you’d be forgiven for thinking that traditional print and broadcast media has ceased to be important when it comes to promoting your business or product – but the truth is to overlook them is to overlook a fantastic opportunity to increase your reach, promote awareness of your brand, and connect with potential customers in a powerful way. Here is why being in the media is a must
Reaching large audiences – You might be able to target a very precise demographic through social media marketing, but getting into the traditional media puts you in people’s homes – you’re on their coffee tables, playing in their kitchens, reaching them on their sofas. It connects you with potential new customers in a far more tangible way than an item whizzing past their eyes on a newsfeed can – notwithstanding the fact a story picked up by a traditional media outlet will be showcased across their well-followed social media accounts to boot.
Building credibility – People still trust in well-known outlets – the town newspaper, regional news programmes, and local radio – and if a business appears on one of these, potential customers feel more positive about your message.
Increasing your online influence – Backlinks to your company from reputable media outlets prove your site is trustworthy and boost you up the search engine rankings.
Brand awareness – Doing something good in your community? Employing more people? Hosting an event? Getting your stories out there gets your name out there too. Even if you’re not directly sharing a service you’re offering or a new product, the more people who have heard of your company in a positive context, the better.
So that’s the why – what about how?
With the best will in the world, firing out emails in a scattergun fashion is not going to cut it. Getting your business into the press requires a strategy, that encompasses both skillful messaging, and connecting with the right media contacts.
The news angle – First thing to do is tease out that all-important news angle. You need to look at what you’re doing, who you are, how you operate, and find your stories. Then you need to present them in such a way that offers up an irresistible news hook with which you can capture the attention of the journalist on the other end of that email. All the sales puff and hyperbole in the world is utterly worthless without it.
A tailored pitch – Next you need to tailor your pitch or release to the relevant outlet. This takes research and understanding of what they cover, how they write/present content, and who their audience is. A perfectly well-crafted press release will produce nothing but irritation if is fundamentally unsuitable for that outlet, for example, if it is out of their patch, or comes from the wrong sector entirely.
It’s also important to bear in mind the pressure and sheer volume of work journalists have to contend with these days, especially in local journalism. A well-written pitch or release, with a strong news line, correct and complete information, punchy quotes, and great photos arriving well-ahead of their press deadline is going to be warmly welcomed.
Follow up – Finally, you need to seal the deal. You can get lucky sending something out then sitting back and hoping for the best – but it’s far better to follow up and make sure your release or pitch has been picked up, and that the journalist has everything they need, including great images, a potential interviewee, and all the correct information, links, and resources.
Cultivate relationships- Liaising over a news story is also a great way to develop a relationship with a journalist. No matter what they might tell you about impartiality and news-led reporting, the fact is a great relationship with a journalist means they are far more likely to read and publish your offerings.
Being featured in the media is well worth the effort, but certainly takes a certain set of skills and know-how that not every business can spare the time and resources to develop – but that’s where we can help! You know your business best – and we know ours, so why not get in touch and find out how we can help you find your stories, and then get them heard and seen across the media (and social media too – but that’s a blog for another day!)