Could your small business use some free, promotional “love” from your area media networks? Sure you could… free is good, especially when it comes to getting the word out about your small business! But what does it take to get newspaper, magazine, radio, television or other media folks interest in what you have to say?
Our guest blogger, friend, and veteran journalist, Jeanni Brosius, was kind enough to share some valuable and easy to implement tips to get journalists interested in your story. Jeanni is the owner of Jeanni Brosius Communications in Little Rock. An experienced journalist and media consultant, Jeanni provides 7 tips to help you leverage the power of the press to promote your business.
by Jeanni Brosius
Small businesses have small budgets, and advertising rates can be big. Although buying an ad in the newspaper may be a great way to get your name in front of many eyes, there are other ways to get advertising that won’t cost a dime. Knowing what is newsworthy and contacting the correct person are keys in getting your name in the newspaper. Journalists are always looking for the next story idea, why not be right there with a great lead?
Pick Publications: Determine which publications are read by your clients or customers. Local newspapers and radio stations are a good place to begin. Then branch out to state and regional newspapers as well as some regional and statewide magazines.
Newsworthy News: Make sure you have something relevant and newsworthy. A new product, a charitable action or sponsoring an event is always newsworthy. But other story-worthy items may be an expansion, a unique product or service, or an interesting history. Most publications also have community calendars, and if your business is offering a free service, or sponsoring a charitable event, you may be able to get it on the calendar. Building relationships with journalists and editors will help you understand the content they are looking for and the deadlines.
Correct Contact: Publications have different sections, and there may be people in charge of each section who don’t communicate well with each other. When emailing or faxing a press release, always send it to the correct editor or writer. If you can’t find a name in the publication, call to get the name and contact person of the section for which your press release or idea is intended.
Special Section: Many newspapers publish special sections, with topics such as, weddings, back to school, women’s health, home improvement, etc. Find one that fits within your business and speak to the editor about a story. For example, a hairstylist could be a source for a story on styles for weddings, prom or even summer cuts, or a contractor could offer some information on do-it-yourself projects.
Busy Bees: Editors and journalists are very busy, and they get a lot of email. So if you decide to email them, make sure your subject line is eye-catching, and get to the point quickly in your email. If not, your email may be overlooked. Avoid using jargon and acronyms in your communication to the publications. You may know what they mean, but the writers and editors have to look them up.
Exude Expertise: Become an expert on the subject of your business, and you can become a trusted source for a journalist. If you can comment on statistics, trends or current news, contact the writer in a timely fashion. Perhaps you own a gas station, and you would like to comment on the trends of gas prices. Possibly you teach an exercise class, and you can offer advice on beginning an exercise routine.
Deadly Deadlines: Be respectful of deadlines. Learn what the deadlines are and adhere to them. No matter how good of a relationship you have with the writer or editor, deadlines are deadlines.
Jeanni Brosius, owner of Jeanni Brosius Communications, is a veteran journalist and media consultant based in Little Rock, AR. Learn more about how Jeanni Brosius Communications can help your small business by visiting and “liking” her Facebook Page at Jeanni Brosius Communications.
Thank you to our guest blogger and media professional, Jeanni Brosius, I hope we will be able to share more of her insights to help our small businesses leverage their media potential in future articles!
What kind of success have you had leveraging the “Power of the Press” for your small business? Love to hear your stories, just leave your thoughts in our comment section.