Last Update: April 28, 2015
Think your business deserves to be in the news? Contrary to popular opinion, writers don’t just pull headlines out of thin air. Well … maybe celebrity tabloids do. If you want to appear in local, regional or even national news you must offer news about your company that’s actually worth covering. Here are five tips to make your company newsworthy. Not to mention, these tips will help you keep journalists from hitting the “delete” button on your next email pitch.
1. Old news is not news.
Old news — as far as the press is concerned — is not news. The key to gaining consistent press coverage is to regularly launch new product offerings. Media outlets aren’t going to cover the same exact thing twice. Give them new products, services, promotions and relevant news to work with. Don’t have something new? Look no further, to #2.
2. Tie-in with current events.
Time your news with current events, pop culture, holidays, etc. to generate new angles and maximize publicity opportunities. Are you a spa offering the same service that E! News just hailed as the latest celebrity “it” service? Do you have the perfect gift for Father’s Day? Is your brand eco-friendly for Earth Day? Possibly your company sells the perfect travel-friendly product for summer vacations? If you don’t have news — make it up. Hitch a ride on the bandwagon and strategize smart, timely story angles as an excuse to contact the press. Trust me, it works.
3. Invest in photography.
The old adage “pictures speak louder than words” is never more true when it comes to pitching your brand. You may have a great product, service or concept, but if media can’t see it they’re apt to skip right over it. The right product, company and key owner images are tremendously important. It can make or break your brand. Retail PR Tip: If you sell apparel or accessories be sure to offer both on and off-model product shots to maximize your opportunity for press.
4. Get scandalous.
Like it or not, scandal sells. Eye-catching headlines increase readership and public interest. I’m sure we can all recall some occasions when “all press is good press” may not necessarily be true. However, everyone loves a scandal! Don’t be afraid to push limits to get your headlines on the front page.
Remember: Editors, writers and reporters want to run newsworthy stories that their readers will want to read. When it comes to juicy and entertaining vs. boring, whose story do you think is going to win out? While I am not in any way encouraging you to make up false stories for the sake of entertainment, I am encouraging you to push the envelop instead of playing it safe.
5. Give back.
Whether or not you truly do want to ‘do good’ or if you simply want more publicity — giving back to your local community and at large will garner you media exposure. The media loves a good humanitarian story. Tie your brand with a non-profit causes and you will expedite and increase your press exposure.
While there quite a few ways to drive publicity for your brand the main ingredients are innovation, relevance and timing. As a small business owner you must generate sufficient interest from the general public to warrant reporting in media outlets.