Knowing how to get press coverage in the local and national press is an important tool in the marketing arsenal for any small business owner, at any time it can be particularly useful when times are tough
This topic follows my earlier insight into using twitter to make big announcements post-disruption. You can remind yourself of that topic here. P.R., or press coverage, and reputation management is another thrifty tactic for you to deliver your Marketing Strategy through Communications. I am not a PR professional. I’m a fully qualified, experienced Marketing practitioner. However, I have been fortunate to learn about how to get press coverage from the guidance of PR professionals whom I admire.
They have been willing to share their expertise free, online like I do. Recently, I have followed these weekly Facebook live broadcasts from Islay O’ Hara. In the last week, I have been pleased to see my clients featured in the press twice. I will use those examples to illustrate the relevance of press coverage to the implementation of your marketing strategy.
This week’s analogy is Making a splash when a stone is thrown into a pond it makes an immediate impact followed by a series of ripples.
Here are my splash-inspired tips on how to get press coverage to deliver your Marketing strategy
Please remember to approach this task with a Marketing mindset your objective will be to satisfy your customers’ need for information about your product/ service. It’s not about you, so you don’t need to feel shy about “blowing your own trumpet”. The pond represents a collection of your target customers.
First, you must have an in-depth grasp of those who are your potential customers. Which publications do they read? Investigate those titles which fit your brand values and whose readership matches your target. Familiarise yourself with the publications’ style, content, sections, and journalists. Are you certain that you have chosen the right pond?
Next, you must prepare the stone that you’ll throw to create your splash. The stone is your pitch. As with all types of Marketing communications, a pitch needs to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. It’s worth knowing copy-deadlines in advance, timing is everything in your quest to get press coverage. Is your message, newsworthy? This is particularly relevant for non-profit organisations Publications won’t allocate their limited space to someone who’s making an announcement that’s the function of paid advertising space. Your article idea must be of interest to their readers. I have been pleased this week to see a report in the local paper K&S Courier (Sep4th edition) about my church’s good work in the community during lockdown and its pivot to broadcasting on YouTube, a project which has been a collaboration between me and my client Anita Reid, Willow Leaf .co.uk Many churches have been broadcasting their services online. I pitched my article specifically to the Community page editor to ensure its relevance to its readers.I took the time to prepare my stone before I threw it to the paper. Research and preparation are normally important steps prior to making a pitch, the emphasis on community support fits with St. Augustine’s vision of itself.
Other times you might be lucky to be offered an opportunity by a journalist. There are several ways that journalists find their sources and story ideas. Twitter is a very popular platform for journalists to seek contributors for their article ideas. I monitor those feeds carefully within my social-listening service for my subscribers. I spotted a request for input from a therapist or masseur by a freelance journalist, Jenny Stallard. I introduced her to my therapist and client, Su Ram, Azhagiwellness.com. Jenny writes for broadsheet newspapers this article appeared in The Telegraph on August 25th. at-desk-masseurs-getting-back-business/Su offers a rare, premium therapy based on Ayurvedic methods from her place of birth, India. The Telegraph was an ideal medium to fit her upmarket positioning. You can read the subsequent article above. An article makes an initial impact, a splash. Meanwhile, there continues to be…
The Ripple effect
Press coverage will help you to spread your message beyond the readership of the publication. The article about church was included in a local news app called In your area. The Telegraph article was published online which made it easy for Su to share via social media platforms with her many followers. It was a perfect opportunity for her to re-purpose content. Press coverage offers credibility to build the reputation of your business. You can include it on your website, “as featured in..”