Let’s be honest – as a start-up you could use all the publicity that you can possibly garner! However, most start-ups cannot afford the services of an advertising firm or a public relations firm. While these professional services are great, they do come with a price tag.
It makes more sense to employ the services of the afore-mentioned companies as your small business grows from strength to strength! As a small entrepreneur or as the owner of a start-up the onus is on you to become media savvy and grab media’s attention.
Network – make yourself known Networking is essential. Just like you would network to find potential clients/customers, you need to do the same with journalists and bloggers too. Research the kind of publications that you would like to be featured in and then start looking out for writers – Linkedin is a great place to start looking.
Reach out to them by sending them an introductory email, meet up in person for lunch or coffee, make sure you let them know why your company is relevant in the current market and also for the target publication. Networking in all about laying the groundwork and building a strong relationship with the media.
Tell a story – it’s about content Be a story teller- an interesting one. Don’t just talk about your small business’ products, services and clients. Tell your own story about how you started the business and what the inspiration was. Weave the elements of products/ services and clients into this story.
Get creative about the content that you pitch to the publication or journalist. Creating your own content or keeping a “readymade” story in hand is great especially for busy journalists who are hard pressed for time.
Don’t cling – no one likes desperation! Do not keep constantly following up with a writer and pitching every single idea that catches your fancy. No one likes to be constantly badgered and almost everyone can be put off at the sight of desperation.
Keep your pitches short and to the point. Also, only pitch when you know you have a great story to share or something new that will suit a publication’s audience. This will also help the journalist or blogger understand that you mean business and they will learn to pay more attention to what you are trying to communicate.
Offering exclusivity – strike a deal
If you know that you have an interesting piece of news/ story about your business or industry, try and offer a writer or publication exclusivity. Even if your story gets featured only in one publication, you can negotiate the type of coverage you want, since you are offering exclusivity, which mean no other publication will carry the information in question.
You can always use several of your personal and business social media platforms to publicize the story once its published, in order to widen the reach.
Rejection? – Relax, there are more fish in the pond
Luckily enough, now-a-days a rejection from a publication does not mean that you wait for several months before you get another chance to get coverage! Media by itself has transformed – think digital media like blogs, forums and online magazines. Even when it comes to traditional print media, you are often spoilt for choice with newspapers, supplements, magazines, digests and much more.
Beyond this, you always have endless number of broadcast media channels. Remember to keep pitching to various media and publications! Keep the above pointers in mind and get media savvy.