As a small business owner, you often find yourself juggling multiple roles such as sales, collections, bookkeeping, IT services, and human resources. You may face unexpected challenges that demand your attention. Neglecting press coverage can be one of them, and it can potentially create a crisis for your business. Therefore, it’s time to don the hat of a marketer.
Getting your name out there requires finesse, which can take a considerable amount of time and money. As a new business, you may find yourself short on both. However, you cannot afford to ignore this challenge and neglect others. Even with limited resources, you still have options to start a successful PR campaign.
Are you still following along? Great! In this article, we will define press coverage and explore smart techniques that can help you pitch your story and master PR, even on a budget.
What is Press Coverage for Businesses
Press coverage refers to the media attention that a business or individual receives from various sources such as newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, blogs, and social media. It can be a critical aspect of a business’s success as it can increase credibility, visibility, brand awareness, reputation, and website traffic.
In today’s digital age, press coverage can help businesses gain a competitive edge and reach a broader audience. Positive press coverage can enhance a company’s reputation, attract new customers, and increase sales. On the other hand, negative press coverage can harm a company’s reputation, lead to a decline in sales, and even result in a crisis. Therefore, understanding how to obtain press coverage and manage it effectively is essential for any business. In this article, we will explore the benefits of press coverage, types of press coverage, how to obtain it, common mistakes to avoid, and real-life examples of both successful and unsuccessful press coverage.
How to Get Good Press Coverage for Your Business
Think of press coverage as the right way to earn publicity for your business. So, what do you do when creating press coverage? Simply put, you try to convince a journalist/influencer to tell your current or would-be customers just how fabulous you are. To get an idea of how to get your business in the public eye, learn the difference between advertising, marketing, and PR.
When you tell a young woman how handsome, smart and successful you are – you advertise. When you tell a young woman how intelligent, smart, and lovely, she is – you say the right things to the right people or marketing.
But when someone else tells a young woman how handsome, smart, and successful her date is, that’s PR.
That is the most vivid explanation by author S.H. Simmons. That’s all about creating a positive perception to build trust and credibility for your market. So, what about press coverage, you might ask? Well, good press coverage will work as a liaison between a journalist and your potential customers. So long as it’s all positive, the more coverage you can get.
Take a Fresh Start to Press Coverage
To be successful in your industry, waiting for the news to fall into your lap is a bad idea. Got no news? Then get good press coverage is even more vital. There is for sure at least one topic that your customer is passionate about and resonates well with the media. Brainstorm it and build a campaign around it.
Always have something new or newsworthy to share. Don’t rehash something that was announced a few months ago. Always have at least one new product feature to talk about – be it a software update or new capabilities. If you want to win over journalists/influencers/bloggers and get press coverage, make sure your story has a newsworthy angle.
Here are some of a few common angles you can use to gain coverage:
- anniversary or sales milestone;
- impact of consequences;
- loff of life or property destruction;
- new products, services, locations opening;
- announcing a funding round;
- human interest;
- announce a campaign win or development.
Anyway, no matter the angle, you must put yourself in the shoes of journalists first. And the best way to do that is to imagine what his job looks like, what his goals are, and how you can help him achieve those. In today’s media-hungry world, a journalist might receive up to 500 emails and press releases every day. Finding a needle in this haystack of stories is no easy feat. Imagine scanning throughout a day through thousands of self-praised market leaders who claim to be the next big thing. What you are looking for is an interesting story that can be fact-checked within several days. That’s a big win-win.
#1 Target the Right People
Just like identifying the ideal audience takes time to do research, targeting the right journalists is no different. To be sure that your press coverage will fall in the hands of a journalist who covers your topic or is at least involved in this experience, find him. Getting your pitch to a political journalist won’t harm you, yet, it won’t bring value. So, first, do a bit of exploring to find the writers you’re going to pitch.
#2 Avoid Out-of-Blue Email
A warm intro is always better than a cold out-of-blue email. Yet, if that’s not possible, at least try to build a relationship with the writer. That means before you even send him your pitch, read his articles. A thoughtful comment would also work as an advantage. Follow him on social media. Find a way to be useful to him. Do your best to find that thing line that connects you with the writer.
#3 Make It Easy for Journalists
Journalists/influencers/bloggers want stories that sell. They have a nose for a good news story. A good breaking-news reporter will find a newsworthy element even if it’s buried somewhere near the bottom. Yet, if you want to get coverage, ease a journalists’ work. Use the inverted pyramid to format your story. Represent your heaviest idea at the top and then go down with the least important news at the bottom. Thus, you will avoid burying the lede of your pitch.
#4 Keep It Tight
Good press coverage gives the main points of your story in the first paragraph. Even if you’re not a naturally talented writer, following the press coverage format can help you out. Start with a lede that summarizes the most newsworthy points of your pitch by including the ‘5 W’s and H’. And then follow the inverted pyramid format leaving the least important news at the bottom of your pitch. When writing, keep it short and simple. One way to do this is to follow the Subject-Verb-Object format. That is a smart technique used to control press coverage writing. Thus, to convey more information, you use fewer words in an active voice.
#5 Check AP Style
When you’ve done terrific work, the last thing you want your pitch to include is AP style errors. That is the gold standard used in U.S. print journalism, so do your best to learn it. Whenever you write a story, check it for Associated Press errors. Pretty soon, you’ll get the common style points and will do your pitch easier.
#6 If Possible, Send Out Samples
When real estate is all about location, today’s press coverage is all about samples. Sending samples of your products is a surefire way to build a meaningful connection with writers. You don’t need to have thousands of followers, but you need to interact with a few writers who seem interested in what you do and what you offer. And the next time when writing a story about you, they are more likely to write a story about that subject. And you don’t need to send all your products. Pick the one that most resonates with your target audience.
Not possible? Then make journalists’ lives easier with a digital asset. That would result in a better partnership.
How PRNEWS.IO can help with press coverage
PRNEWS.IO is a platform that can help businesses gain press coverage and reach their target audience. Here are a few ways that PRNEWS.IO can help with press coverage:
- Access to a Wide Range of Media Outlets: PRNEWS.IO provides businesses with access to a vast network of media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, blogs, and news websites. This makes it easier for businesses to find the right media outlets and journalists to pitch their stories to.
- Easy to Use Platform: PRNEWS.IO has a user-friendly platform that makes it easy for businesses to create and distribute press releases. The platform allows businesses to create and customize their press release, target specific media outlets and journalists, and track the performance of their press release.
- Affordable Pricing: PRNEWS.IO offers affordable pricing plans that are accessible to businesses of all sizes. The platform also provides flexible payment options and the ability to purchase credits that can be used for press release distribution.
- Reach a Global Audience: PRNEWS.IO has a global network of media outlets, making it possible for businesses to reach a global audience. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses that operate in multiple countries or are looking to expand their reach.
In summary, PRNEWS.IO can help businesses gain press coverage by providing access to a vast network of media outlets, an easy-to-use platform, affordable pricing, and the ability to reach a global audience.
Exploring the Different Types of Press Coverage
Press coverage can come in various forms, including:
- Traditional Media: This includes newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. Traditional media outlets have been around for decades and have a broad audience reach. Positive coverage in traditional media can significantly enhance a business’s reputation and visibility.
- Online Media: Online media covers a vast range of digital channels, including blogs, social media, podcasts, and online news websites. Online media is growing in popularity, and it allows businesses to reach a global audience in a cost-effective way.
- Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers or bloggers to promote a brand or product. Influencers have a significant following and can help businesses reach a targeted audience that may be interested in their products or services.
It’s crucial for businesses to understand the different types of press coverage and identify which ones are best suited for their goals and target audience. A well-planned PR strategy that includes a combination of traditional and online media, as well as influencer marketing, can help businesses achieve their marketing objectives and reach a broader audience.
Avoiding Common Mistakes in Press Coverage
While press coverage can be a valuable asset to businesses, there are common mistakes that businesses should avoid:
Failing to Research the Media Outlet and Journalist: Before pitching to a media outlet, it’s essential to research the media outlet and the journalist you are reaching out to. Understanding their target audience and the type of stories they cover can help businesses tailor their pitch and increase the chances of getting media coverage.
Being Too Self-Promotional: Businesses should avoid making their pitch sound like an advertisement. Journalists are looking for newsworthy stories that will engage their readers, not a sales pitch. Instead, businesses should focus on telling a story that is relevant, interesting, and newsworthy.
Ignoring the Needs of the Journalist: Journalists are busy and receive hundreds of pitches every day. It’s essential to respect their time and needs. Businesses should make sure that their pitch is concise, relevant, and personalized. They should also ensure that they are providing all the necessary information and resources that the journalist may need to write the story.
Failing to Follow Up: Following up after sending a pitch is crucial. Many journalists receive so many pitches that they may not see yours the first time around. A polite follow-up can help ensure that the journalist has received the pitch and may increase the chances of getting media coverage.
By avoiding these common mistakes, businesses can improve their chances of getting press coverage and build lasting relationships with journalists.
The Benefits of Press Coverage for Businesses
Press coverage offers numerous benefits for businesses, including:
- Increased Credibility: Positive media coverage can enhance a business’s reputation and increase its credibility. When a third-party, such as a journalist or influencer, endorses a company, it can improve its perceived trustworthiness and authority in its industry.
- Increased Visibility: Press coverage can significantly increase a company’s visibility, reaching a broader audience than other marketing channels. A well-placed article or mention in a media outlet can lead to increased brand awareness and exposure.
- Increased Brand Awareness: Press coverage can help create brand recognition and raise brand awareness. As people read about your business in the media, they become more familiar with your brand, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and a higher likelihood of purchasing from you.
- Improved Reputation: Positive press coverage can improve a business’s reputation and help mitigate negative publicity. This can lead to increased trust and confidence from customers, partners, and stakeholders.
- Increased Website Traffic: Press coverage can drive traffic to a company’s website, leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenue. When media outlets link to a company’s website, it can also improve its search engine optimization (SEO) ranking.
Learning from Case Studies: Successful and Unsuccessful Press Coverage Examples
Case studies can provide valuable insights into successful and unsuccessful press coverage strategies. Here are a few examples:
Successful Press Coverage: Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club is an excellent example of a business that leveraged successful press coverage to grow their brand. The company created a humorous and viral video that quickly gained media attention. The video was shared widely on social media and news outlets, resulting in millions of views and significant media coverage. The video helped Dollar Shave Club increase their customer base and eventually sell the company for a billion dollars.
Unsuccessful Press Coverage: Pepsi
In 2017, Pepsi released a commercial featuring Kendall Jenner that sparked outrage and backlash on social media. The ad was accused of trivializing social justice movements and received criticism from many celebrities and consumers. The ad was a significant misstep for Pepsi, resulting in a significant PR crisis and damaged brand reputation.
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Press Coverage FAQ
What is press coverage?
Right of the bat, press means brand awareness and credibility. In turn, press coverage increases people’s trust in your product. Good press coverage will bring you higher up their list of choices.
How to beat press coverage?
To create a noise. If done well, it can be a powerful weapon to increase brand exposure to your target audience. Make sure your story is personal to as many people as possible, and you can get the word out there about your product.
How to get PR press coverage?
Think about it from the journalist’s perspective. Keep it “journalist-friendly”. A short hint to your subject line ensures a journalist knows what he/she will get.