How to attract local media coverage
Learn how to tell your small business's story and get the attention of local media.
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Hi. I'm Ashley Meyers for the Wells Fargo Business Insight Series. Today we're talking about how to generate local publicity for your business. Joining me is Melinda Emerson, the Small Biz Lady, and author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months. Thanks for joining me, Melinda.
Happy to be here, Ashley.
Melinda, if I'm a business owner who wants to get the local media to start covering my business, where do I start?
You should start by creating a list of 10 – 12 media outlets you want to target. They could be bloggers, newspapers, your local TV station, etc. Consider how relevant your business is to their publications and audiences. Then do your research on the writer or reporter you want to pitch. You'll need this information to include it in your actual communication with them.
I see. So you start by figuring out which outlets are a good fit for your business. Where do you go from there?
Then develop a compelling story for your pitch. Do you have a “rags-to-riches” story? Do you run a social venture that donates a portion of your profits to charity? Do you use social media in some unique way that generates revenue? Are you a second- or third-generation owner of your business? Are you running a creative contest for your customers?
Once you have a pitch, start introducing yourself to people in the media. If you want to get the attention of a writer, start sharing their content on social networks or leave positive comments on their story.
Okay. Let's say I have a really good idea for a story about my business. How do I get one of those media outlets to take notice?
Whether you're doing a written press release or something in the digital space, your pitch should be timely and relevant. The more you can tie your pitch into a current event in the media, the more successful you'll be. Also, sign up for Google Alerts on top key words in your industry so you can keep up on the latest trends, and figure out how to do a tie-in there.
You should start blogging about your subject matter expertise. Media professionals will often Google topics looking for sources that they can interview.
And pay attention to your business. Is there something new or interesting happening like an anniversary or the launch of a new product or an event that you could make newsworthy? It's also wise to ask writers, editors, and producers how they like to receive story pitches.
You also want to keep your pitch clean. Make sure you have someone proofread it, and make sure that you include your contact information. Keep it concise. The essence of your pitch should be in the first paragraph of your email. And keep any press release to one page and include it in the body of your email.
Thanks. I like that those tips are so actionable. Melinda, it's been a pleasure speaking with you today.
Likewise, Ashley. I really enjoyed it.
And thank you for joining us for this segment of the Wells Fargo Business Insight Series. To learn more about how Wells Fargo Business Banking can help you, visit wellsfargo.com/biz. In the meantime, we wish you continued success.