Good press can bring traffic to your website, people to your store and create customers before you’ve even met them.
Nothing can replace a full time public relations company, however, when you have a limited budget while starting or running your business, here are some things you can do to generate free press.
What you can do to generate your free press:
- Locate magazines or venues that cater to your product. First thing you need to do is find out what magazines your customers read. For example, if you were a winery you would look at a magazine like Wine Enthusiast or other wine related magazines. You can choose local, national or international magazines, depending on your business model.
- If you have a product to be reviewed you should be able to locate reviewer requirements on the site. Just follow their instructions, each one has different requirements
- Take a look at their editorial calendar and see if you’ve got a product or story that you can submit directly. You can also find bloggers in your niche, then reach out to them and inquire about having your product reviewed or submit an idea for an interview.
- Become a source. Reach out to your local papers and look up the journalists that your business would resonate with. You can usually find their e-mails on-line or within their by-line. Write a brief note outlining what you or your business has to offer as an expert or as an interesting product/service.
- Make sure you supply them with a good contact phone number and e-mail. When they contact you – get back to them as soon as possible! A good time of day to send your e-mail pitch is in the early morning.
- Remember! Keep your pitch as simple as possible, always include; company website, company bio (75 words or less) founders name with brief (75 words or less) bio, relevancy of your pitch (why IS your product/service different, better, etc., or what outside factors are your business affecting?).
- Another great way to reach journalists is through HARO (Help a Reporter Out). HARO is an on-line resource free of charge that gathers thousands of journalist’s inquiries in one place and sends out to the listed source (you) 3 queries daily.
- And when you do get chosen, make sure you send a thank you e-mail.
Important things NOT to do:
- Don’t overload them with paperwork (about your business) you can always use this as an opportunity to follow up with what you submitted, and then submit your documents.
- Whatever you do, do NOT pitch or reply if what you have or do is not what the reporter is looking for.
And finally, this one is actually a lot of fun (for both parties):
- Grow your own brand Ambassadors. This is a fantastic way to leverage other people’s enthusiasm about your product or service into free press. Make sure your ambassadors have ample information about what you offer, your press kit, links to articles, new releases, any research you may have written or press you have received. Then, let them post on their favorite sites.
- Depending on your business you can offer specials to your ambassadors or give them cards (with a special offer on it) so they in turn can pass it on to their circles.
Generating press, even free press is really quite easy, just think about who is receiving your inquiry, they will be happy that you took the time to make their job easier!