Every small business owner knows that it is impossible to thrive without customers. But what they don’t realize is that getting noticed by media is an excellent option to gain traction and boost sales. Moreover, appearing in a newspaper/magazine or on a television channel increases the credibility of the business manifold.
Bringing the media spotlight on your business is not as difficult as it seems. All you need is some meat to offer to journalists that can be converted into interesting stories later. Scan through the following tips to get media coverage for your retail business smartly:
1. Share Newsworthy Content
If you observe closely, every story has an angle. It is neither a run-down of services offered by an organization nor is it an advertisement of sorts. A published article has an angle that piques the interests of not only the journalist who writes or records it but also the readers.
Therefore, don’t be too salesy. Pitch the story behind your business or the upcoming event you are organizing. The story can even be around how your product/service is changing the lives of your customer base.
Here’s an example: Onesto Payments solves payment and POS challenges for small businesses. The solutions it offers are free from the risk of being cheated by technology providers. It walks an extra mile to keep its customers equipped with the latest knowledge of everything related to payment processing.
Now, the story can be about small businesses which have taken help from Onesto Payments and benefited from it.
You can even connect with your vendors or clients to work around a story. Whatever you share should have the power to resonate with the readers. Moreover, the story should throw a positive light on your business.
2. Target Local Press
It is always beneficial to be covered by a national newspaper or a TV channel. However, local media outlets are equally important. In fact, it is easier to tap into localized press. After all, they cater to your city or town.
Local media outlets support businesses in three ways:
- Provide faster recognition
- Boost sales
- Add to the business’ credibility
If the local story on your business is that inspiring, compelling or impressive – it just might catch the eye of bigger publications and augment your presence even more. Start small, gain big!
3. Send Out Press Releases
This is a traditional PR tactic. If done right, a press release can fetch you the attention of many publications. All you have to do is make sure you don’t disseminate press releases just for the heck of it. The content should be newsworthy – and add value to readers. Writing a press release will also help you in creating strong and topical pitch ideas for journalists.
4. Connect With Journalists On Ground Level
It is easy to send pitches to generic email IDs – but connecting to specific journalists is a different ball game altogether. Try to reach out to them personally. Meet them for a cup of coffee or invite them over for lunch.
Also, read articles published about your industry. Meet the writers. Scan through pieces written on your competitors. Connect with journalists behind those articles. Ask your PR team to apply a “go-getter” approach.
5. Personalize Your Emails
Once you have identified the journalists working on your industry’s stories, personalize your emails accordingly. Start the email by referencing a recent article or a tweet they wrote. That way it becomes easier to relate to your business.
Tailor the tone of your pitch as per the journalist and the publication (s)he works for. The approach to reach out to journalists must vary, else they’d think you’re just another small business trying to be a big deal by making tall claims.
6. Don’t Forget To Follow-Up
Journalists receive tons of emails every day. The nature of these emails varies from pitches and official correspondence to howlers. If you don’t hear back from them within a week – write them a follow-up message reminding them about pitch.
And if you still don’t get a response from them despite repeated follow-ups, it is time to move on to another reporter. Don’t make the mistake of sitting on your pitch. It is necessary to follow-up with the journalist. You never know (s)he might become a close contact of yours through continuous correspondence.
Also, don’t waste your pitches. Be highly aware of those you are sending a story pitch to. Don’t reach out to too many journalists at the same time. That will make you look desperate. You may also lose out on potential stories or severe relations with the journalist. Be patient.
One of the best ways to be on the top of your PR game is to create a PR team.
Networking with media is a continuous task without a deadline. You have to stay connected to them, pitch them story ideas and get follow-ups almost regularly. The PR of your business can’t stay afloat if you don’t have a specific team working solely towards it.
The image of your business is in your hands. Be wise.