Getting Press Coverage For Your Small Business, And Own the Crowds

Businesses and entrepreneurs often ask how do they convince journalists to write about them. The answer is simple: get the journalists' attention.

Being featured in press coverage that include newspapers, magazines, on radio and TV, can be great way to build influence, authority and awareness. However, many small businesses and first time entrepreneurs don't have the budget to hire in help with their media relations. But with some knowledge, you can do your own PR (Public Relation).

Journalists have a love-hate relationship with PRs. Journalists love them because PRs give them all the information they need to fill newspaper columns and website's page pixels. However, journalists also hate them because PRs are usually self-serving and tend to boast something more than they can handle.

In short, journalists still like to hear from people. The problem is they are on a strict deadline and their patience is not for bargain.

Before going into the points, they are two types of marketers: first are the people that believe that press coverage does miracles, the the second are the people who don't believe such a thing. Before you try to venture yourself into press coverage, you should know that journalist can help you with your sales and influence if the information is good. And they can also do otherwise if you don't supply the information that benefit both.

A Narrative, Not an Advertisement

Journalists are interested in facts, fictions, or both. But they don't like ads. To make a story, they need a beginning, middle, and an end. To make it interesting, a story needs tensions and personal elements.

To give a narrated story, you need to identify an event on your business idea. After you know where to start, the next is where actions comes. The action is where the story, and the conflicts, start to take part. These create tensions that readers are waiting. Journalists love to make tensions in their work, so your story should be as well crafted to be as interesting as possible.

In a compelling story, there should be a change. There is no point of a story if a protagonist doesn't change at the end of the story. For example, the protagonist should be stronger, more responsible, more powerful, at the end of the story. So if your story is about your business, you should describe how your business changes you. Take the story into your journey, from the beginning to the end.

Define a Start

There are a lot of news out there. If all news are gathered, there won't be enough time and resources to cover them all. To have a press coverage, you must first figure out why journalists should care about you now? Why not yesterday? Why not a few years in the future?

The obvious thing is to find a news peg to attract those information-hungry journalists. News peg will make your story shine above others, and make them a lot more interesting to cover.

If, for example, you just roll out a new product, or reached an impressive sales milestone, or expand your staff by a huge amount in a short amount of time. This can be a place to define the beginning of your story. After that, all you need is to clearly define what you do, in the best way possible.

Solve Problems

Good stories need to have the inform and entertain elements. The best of all is if it can solve the readers' problems, typically by way of examples showing how the problem is solved. The possibility for crafting the story is limitless.

Journalists don't have much time to do the coverage if they're not interested in the first place. Before pitching your stories to them, identify a few instructive stories within your business which other readers can relate to.

Genuine and Original

In the world of journalism, there are tons of stories. But most of them are repetitive. Journalists don't like to write about things that have been done before because readers are always expecting for something new, something unheard of. What's special about you is what makes you unique.

All businesses start from zero. Big, powerful, successful and influential businesses have to start somewhere, and no business have the same history. Share your secrets, but not all of them. Make people dream, make them feel attached, make them feel how you felt.

A little bit of drama can make your story more desirable. Since a business' history can be fascinating or unconventional, you can pick a theme that describes your business best. For example, some entrepreneurs have had a long journey in business that keep them inspired, or they may have learned to keep every drop of profit by living lean, or they may have had a situation that changed their view of living. A strong story themes tend to describe how your and your business struggled and wrestled to become how you are now.

Weird and Funny

People are creatures that are curious for things they have no knowledge about, and this has made them attracted to thrills. However, stories shouldn't always be thrilling to be interesting, they can also be weird or funny.

Your business idea may have come from situations that involve weird or funny coincidence. The point is, your story should describe yourself as someone who isn't like anyone else. This is turn will make people curious.

A Story for Everybody

A story should have a beginning, middle, and an end. To make it powerful, it needs to have a value that teaches people. Editors always want to know why a story needs to be published, and your story should answer that question for your journalists.

The best way to do it is by talking about your business in your customers' opinions. As long as it's not to radical, over simplistic, others' point-of-view is a great addition to make a story compelling to more people.

Having a Shock Value

Marketing can be fun, and PRs need to deliver that fun to others by giving a bit of 'shock' into the stories. Journalists are your first readers, that influence and open the gates to more readers.

Convincing them that that your story is worth their time, will make them appreciate your work, maybe even more than you do.

Stories that are thrilling, weird and funny can be attractive. But if they don't give the 'shock', readers can predict the whole story before even finishing half of it. The shock value is what makes readers glued to your story. Journalists love that, and so as many others.

Patience and Consistent

After your first story is published, you need to offer more possible news pegs and story themes to make journalists see you as a source of their information.

PRs should make points of not talking about their business clients, but spend more time in establishing relationship and building trust. These will make them know more people, and make them think more about passions and discussions.

If your first story is successful, you are more likely to need more relationship over time. Journalists like expert's perspective, and if your PR can represent you business in a good manner, beside being the source of information, you can be influential to them before your second story starts. This will make you a valuable asset to them.

Know Where and When to Stop

One story a success, followed by two and a couple more. But how much is actually enough? Too much exposure can hurt your influence. Before, or after your first story is delivered to the press, you have to know your measure.

If you're constantly in the news without being newsworthy, people won't be interested in you anymore. Even when there is real news about you. Stand properly on your niche, and keep delivering the stories short and to the point.