As a small business owner, you have to wear lots of hats. Sales, collections, bookkeeper, IT service, human resources, how many roles do you play on stage? And often, you are challenged with things that you don’t see coming. Thus, getting neglected press coverage can cause a crisis. It’s time to put on that marketer’s hat.
Knowing how to get your name out there takes finesse. This knowledge also takes both time and money, and when you are just starting out, you may be short on both. Anyway, you shouldn’t drag down one challenge and ignore others. Even if you’re limited in the resources at your fingertips to start a full-blown PR campaign, you still have options.
Still with me? Then let’s walk through a press coverage definition and ways to master PR using smart techniques that help you pitch your story.
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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.
#7 Get the Word Out Using Press Coverage Tools
As a start-up, odds are no one is looking for news on you. Let professional all-in-one service for creating and sharing news PRNEWS.IO help you increase your chances of being found. When you have no clue where to begin, distribution services like PRNews.io can help you hit the ideal audiences in the right way.
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.