n a competitive marketplace, getting the right type of media exposure for your small business is a great help – and doesn’t need to cost the earth.
For the past few years, a key aspect of business development has been building and maintaining a strong social media presence. While this is vital, it’s important not to overlook the value of ‘old school’ media coverage. It can increase awareness of your services, your brand, and can also establish you as one of the forerunners in your field.
Customers reading messages relayed via your social media and website can be sceptical, and even doubt if posts by customers are genuine. Getting coverage by a reputable media source imbues your brand with their credibility, and for relatively unknown companies that credibility can be crucial.
Local radio stations and newspapers are an obvious first port of call, especially if you will be pulling consumers directly from the locality. But just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean the media outlets that you approach have to be. Journalists like to use a range of sources, and if you have a unique perspective you have the potential to really add colour to their coverage.
Crucially, journalists will get excited by a unique ‘hook’ that links your business to a particular current event. If you run a mediation service, for example, offering some insight to coincide with the release of statistics or a high profile break-up. If you run a sports injury clinic, and a high-profile person has been afflicted by an injury, advice about how to prevent and rehabilitate that injury will interest broadcasters and newspapers.
If you are an expert in a niche field, it may be that media outlets would be interested in an expert article in its own right. Research suitable publications, and contact editors with your article proposal, industry credentials, and any writing experience that you may have.
The term ‘media’ has been redefined somewhat over the past few years, and is important to think broadly in terms of your media approach. If you can’t get coverage from national or local mainstream media – or if your service isn’t a good fit for it – it may be worth approaching influential bloggers in your industry with a unique story or an expert article. The benefit to this is that you may be more likely to hit potential customers through this method. Also as the article isn’t for general consumption, you can go into a level of detail that may have gone over the heads of readers unfamiliar with your industry.
There can be many reasons why a media outlet choose not to profile your company, or commission an article from you. It often takes a few pitches before you come up with an angle or an article that interests an editor, so don’t get disheartened. Being gracious and thanking them for their consideration regardless makes a good impression, and makes them more likely to contact you in the future. Also, consider courting informal feedback from editors about what kind of angles and articles they’d be interested in. Getting media attention can a long process, but stick at it, and you’ll make some inroads soon enough.
DCA Accountants and Business Advisors