Does your business belong in the media if it is not a cutting-edge tech start-up or multi-million dollar global enterprise? If you send journalists press releases that are not newsworthy or pitches that are not interesting, you risk hurting any chance you had of a great relationship with them.
So is it possible for your business to get media coverage if it is not newsworthy?
The answer is yes, if you make your own news or use public relations tools other than just sending press releases. Here are some of the ways that you can do just that.
Option 1: Create your own news
This is where you actively create something that is newsworthy and ties in with your business offering or your expertise.
For example, commissioning a national survey that produces new, interesting and unbiased findings. Release the results with your expert commentary and well done – your business is positioned as a knowledgeable leader!
Other examples are creating a stunt, hosting an event, launching a milestone day or joining with another organisation to do something of note.
Option 2: Use PR tools other than a media release
A media release or news announcement should be reserved for just that – news. In the absence of worthwhile news, you simply use other PR tools.
Here are just some of the ways that you can do that:
A common way to secure a name for yourself is by being interviewed as an expert in your field. After having developed a good relationship with key media outlets, you or your PR agency can pitch you as a spokesperson for a set of given topics.
Remember that the journalist is after your expertise, either an insight or an opinion that will appeal to the media outlet’s audience, not a plug for your business. Stay on topic and try to offer something that the journalist cannot get from other forms of research.
Bylined articles are written pieces that provide everything from helpful advice and how-to tips to bold commentary and opinion pieces.
They carry your name as the author and often an author photo, bio and a line or two about your business to provide credibility to your article.
This article that you are reading now is a bylined article.
Target publications that potential customers might read and don’t make the article a big brag about your business. Save that for your family Christmas card.
If writing isn’t your thing but you believe this type of media coverage suits your business, you can get help by hiring a writer, who will take your insight and expertise and shape it into a coherent piece, or by getting your PR agency to edit your work.
If you have some case studies where a client has used your services resulting in a measurable return on investment, you have the opportunity to offer media outlets a case study of your business success story.
Case studies have the advantage of showing rather than telling people how successful you are at what you do.
A good case study will present the problem the client had, the solution you offered, the challenges in implementing that solution (if you gloss over the less savoury aspects of the process it can seem unrealistic) and the result.
Don’t forget to include high quality images and some commentary on what the challenges where and what your top tips are.
Mentions and credits
These smaller kinds of media coverage often occur when you help a journalist with information but they may not have had time for an in-depth interview, or you could have supplied an image that appeared with a photo credit.
Any assistance you can offer to a journalist is well regarded, so don’t overlook the little things that could secure you some coverage.
Although it may seem insignificant, you may be able to leverage mentions and credits later on. And you still have the benefit of being included in a key media outlet and also possible SEO benefits for your business.
Good PR agencies will know what media angles and approaches will work best for your business. They will base this on an understanding of the media, the industry, your business, its goals, and, of course, your ideal customers.
Remember that the goal should always be to only give media something that will interest them and their audience. And then you have a better chance of getting some media coverage for your business.
Phoebe Netto is the founder and Managing Director of Good Business Consulting a boutique agency specialising in public relations, marketing and business advice for small and medium sized business and not-for-profits. She has led public relations and marketing programs for a diverse range of clients and industries, large and small.