6 little-known ways to get your company’s name in the
ROCHESTER, NY – An award-winning publicist and author of a how-to
publicity book for small businesses says it’s easier than most
business owners think to get their names in the news regularly.
“You have to stop waiting for the press to discover you,” advises
Sandra Beckwith, author of Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans: How
to Create Publicity That Will Spark Media Exposure and Excitement. “Start
telling them what you’re doing that’s newsworthy. It will
help you generate the media exposure that gives companies credibility
and increased awareness.”
Beckwith offers the following tips for becoming more newsworthy:
Contact the press immediately when you can offer a local angle
on a national news story. News outlets love to localize a national story. Fax your
one-page narrative biography (not a resume) and a cover letter explaining
your position on the breaking news to the appropriate media contact (for
example, TV news assignment editors) or copy the information and paste
it into an e-mail message.
Add the media to your e-newsletter distribution list. The same useful
advice or information you offer in your electronic newsletter could be
of interest to reporters covering that topic. Include both local and
national media outlets read, watched or listened to by your target audience.
Capitalize on holidays and special weeks or months by distributing
a press release with useful, newsworthy information related to the topic.
For example, a cardiologist interested in attracting female patients
can distribute a release with the warning signs of heart disease in women
during National Heart Month in February.
Conduct a newsworthy and relevant survey and announce the interesting
results in a press release. A restaurant might survey community members
about whether they plan to dine out more or less this year; a health
club might do a survey on the top reasons why people hate to exercise.
Both have news value.
Partner with the public relations department of your industry’s
trade association by offering to make yourself available for media interviews.
Association public relations people are often contacted by writers looking
for members with a particular expertise to interview. Make sure your
association knows about you, what makes your business interesting, and
the topics you can comment on, and you’ll get referral calls.
Sponsor an attention-getting contest and announce the results
in a press release. To promote a newsletter she publishes that takes a lighthearted
look at male behavior, Beckwith conducted a national “Worst Gift
from a Man Contest.” The press release announcing the winners led
to nationwide media attention, including a holiday appearance on a national
cable TV talk show. A hardware store could sponsor a “Most Innovative
Use of a Tool” competition while a bridal salon could initiate
a “Worst Wedding Horror Story” contest.
Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans: How to Create Publicity That
Will Spark Media Exposure and Excitement gives small business owners the tools
and techniques for generating media attention for their companies, their
products and themselves. The book’s user-friendly format makes
it easy for organizations to learn how to generate the buzz that sets
them apart from the competition. It includes small business examples;
samples of key tools such as press releases, pitch letters and press
kit components; and forms and checklists that guide the publicity-making
process. For more information, go to http://tinyurl.com/4geas.
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