Though the journalism landscape continues to change, getting your business’ name into the media remains a reliable and cost-effective way to boost your bottom line. Once upon a time, this involved picking up the phone and reaching out to a local reporter. And, while this approach can still yield some success, there’s no reason you can’t set your sights a little higher.
The internet has caused a seismic shift in the world of journalism. A carefully hatched marketing plan doesn’t just have the potential to make local headlines, it could result in you and your business going viral around the world.
The gold standard for this kind of viral hit is the meteoric success of the ALS Association’s “Ice Bucket Challenge.” In 2014, this charitable event swept the globe, attracting celebrities like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber to douse themselves in ice water all for a good cause. By the time the videos had slowed down, more than $220 million had been raised for ALS organizations, while the term “Ice Bucket Challenge” was the fifth most popular Google search for all of 2014.
With more ways than ever before to have your voice heard above the media noise, here are some tips for standing out and increasing your media coverage.
Four Tips for Increasing Your Media Coverage
Guerrilla Marketing Works
Don’t be afraid to take risks. A little cheeky opportunism can lead to spectacular results for your small business. Start by looking at some popular items in the news. How can you exploit them as a vehicle for your promotion? Remember the online debate surrounding “The Dress?” If you were the owner of a bakery you could produce cookies based on the dress, some blue and some gold. Own a clothes shop? You could order in batches of “The Dress” for sale. This kind of opportunism, or hijacking of the news, just requires you to keep up with current events and look for ways to bend the conversation toward your business.
Become a Talking Head
News outlets have a constant need for experts in their field to comment on news stories in print or on camera. If you are willing to be quoted in articles or interviewed on TV, it’s an effective way to get your business name out there. Organisations like the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers can help you polish your on-camera skills and get noticed as an expert in your field. It’s also worth taking a pro-active approach and reaching out to journalists when a topic of interest to you is in the news.
Create a Survey
Latching on to other news stories is one way to go but it’s also possible to make the news yourself. Engaging your customers to get their feedback should be considered part of your market research efforts. Using software like Survey Monkey, you can draw up a questionnaire that could yield interesting results. Let’s return to the scenario of you owning a bakery. One of your questions could be: “How often do you eat donuts?” If 90% of your customers eat a donut every day, that’s newsworthy. Try to think of questions that help inform your business choices, while also providing fodder for potential news pieces.
Enlist Bloggers to Review Your Product
Bloggers often have audiences that span the globe. Unfortunately, they likely receive several pitches to review products each day. Making your pitch stand out is key to getting their attention. First of all, carefully select bloggers you feel would be interested in your product and who have a following among your target market. Don’t just use a generic template email when reaching out. Show that you’ve taken the time to read their blog and understand what makes them tick. Finally, be helpful. Offer a guest post for their blog, or let them know you’ll link to their review on your website.
Find Out More
Small Business BC regularly hosts seminars on how to boost the profile of your business in the media. Join media expert Baila Lazarus for Publicity For Your Business: Traditional and New Media and get ready to start spreading the news.