All businesses benefit from positive press. So how do you get your product or service in front of the media to secure those all important column inches? Aby Hawker, founder of Falcon PR, provides some top tips:
1. Know your audience
Market research has helped you to identify the people who will be buying your products and using your services. The next step is to work out what they are reading. Once you are familiar with your target media (both on and offline) write yourself a wish list of the top five/ten titles that you would love to see covering your brand and get to know them better. Study the types of news stories they feature and the names of the journalists who are writing the pieces
2. Tell me a story
Now it’s your turn. Ask yourself: What is new, unique, unusual or exciting about my business? How might knowing about my business be of potential benefit to the readers of the magazines I have studied? Once you have a clear set of answers write them down and condense them into one paragraph - this will focus your mind when you start to ‘sell’ your story to the media.
3. Pick up the phone
Once you are connected, start your pitch. Relate your product or service back to the magazine’s readers highlighting how it will benefit them, so that the journalist understands why they should be writing about your business, rather than that of a competitor.
4. A picture paints a thousand words
Bringing your story to life with an interesting photo will not only help you to sell the concept it will maximize the amount of space which your story gets on the page – the more space your story gets the more likely people are to read it.
Social media provides you with a direct line of communication to your target audience. You don’t have to be an expert you just have to be relevant and interesting. Many of your target media will have Twitter accounts so follow them. If your content is of interest they will follow you back providing the perfect way for you to interact and share your latest news. Use your industry expertise to write a blog highlighting the latest trends. Blogging will increase your online presence and credibility so that, if a journalist does enter your name into Google, the impression they get is a positive one.
6. Be reliable
Journalists are busy people. If you can give them accurate, interesting and relevant content they will come back for more. Find out when they need the copy by and how many words you should provide - and never miss a deadline.
For more start-up advice take a look at the biz advice section.