5 Easy Ways to Get your Business the Media Exposure it Deserves!

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Public Relations Professional Dave Manzer brings his unique PR talents and advice to the MOD Blog in this special article about gaining media attention for SMBs.
If the truth were told about how easy it actually is for small businesses to get media coverage in the local (even national) news, well, PR professionals like me might be out of a job.
But, hey, in the interest of “stimulating the American Economy” a little bit more, here are five easy tips for getting the kind of consistent news coverage that can help your business grow:

  1. Meet the media: Always look for opportunities to meet local reporters, news anchors and freelance writers. You never know when an off-hand comment at a networking meeting might turn into an article about your business.
  2. Pitch reporters your latest news: It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Yet you’d be amazed at how many small businesses fail to send reporters their latest news announcements, either because they forget or, worse yet, think that because they are “small” businisses they are somehow not interesting enough to the media. Au contraire, mon frere! The local and national news media want your news because real-world experiences like yours make for great stories, and great stories sell news.
  3. Subscribe to HARO: Check out HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out, the daily story sourcing service that gives reporters a way to solicit small businesses, non-profits and individuals to submit their news. It’s not uncommon for the major networks or national news journals to interview small businesses from responses they get from HARO. Quick word of warning, though: HARO comes out 3 times per day, which means it can get overwhelming fast. Because it’s not the most efficient tool in the world and there are lots of marginal blogs asking for interviews too, it can take a long time to find interview opportunities for your business in legitimate news media outlets. (Small blogs are nice, don’t get me wrong, but they have a lot less media value than well-established news media outlets.)
  4.  Be original: Come up with some original ways to get publicity. Take a page, or slice, out of one pizza franchise and hand out pizza pies to harried tax filers racing to get their taxes into the Post Office by the April 15 deadline. Or do what one gym recently did and award three-month free memberships to survivors of breast cancer in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The trick is to do something, take a stand, make a statement. Above all, be original.
  5. Watch for trends: Stay abreast of breaking news and general news trends to see how your business can fit into the overall story. Flood control product companies were recently featured in a Wall Street Journal online article because their products began selling out after Hurricane Irene racked the Atlantic coast with high tides and torrential rains. While most of the media dwelled on the damage, WSJ online focused one article on companies that actually benefitted from the disaster.

Armed with some of the secrets I let slip today, you should be able to get your business great media exposure. Fair warning, though, once you get a feel for the media spotlight, you are going to want it more and more because it’s such a great way to build your brand reputation and gain new business.

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