Have you ever read a story about a company and then looked them up to find out more? Ever hear someone mention something about a product or service and then did search about it later? If so, then you have responded to publicity.
Publicity is incredibly valuable in building your small business’s brand awareness, thought leadership and credibility within your industry. You can get publicity from the obvious places like news stories in your local newspaper and television, but also from trade journals, industry websites and magazines. The story does not even need to be about you or your small business, it can simply just be a quote from you. Of course, your articles and speaking engagements also contribute to your small business publicity.
The key to great publicity is a newsworthy story. It needs to be interesting enough to grab readers and engage them. The more relevant and time the story, the best is it received. Many small businesses are including references to the Olympics within their articles right now. Why? Because people are engrossed in the Olympics and are more likely read something related to it right now.
Many small business owners will tell me they don’t have newsworthy stories. That is almost never really the case. Your goal is to educate, inform and help your prospects and customers solve a problem. Surely you are working with clients on helping them solve problems. That is newsworthy to your target audience. Press releases are a great way to build some publicity‚Äö√Ñ√Ætell your prospects you just helped your client solve a big issue with your product or service.
Even if you have nothing newsworthy going on at the moment, you can always create it. Charity work is a great example of creating something newsworthy. Call local reporters and television stations and let them know your small business is doing something good. They might write about it or have a segment on the local news.
Does your company follow strict environmental standards? That’s a story. Does your small business have a product, service or general approach that works and is contrary to accepted wisdom? That’s a story. These are newsworthy not because you are just making an announcement. Rather, there is something interesting and unusual about it. There is even conflict‚Äö√Ñ√Æyou are environmental, but other small businesses are not; you have a new approach, others are doing it the old way. This engages readers and interests them in finding out more about your business.
Keep in mind, journalists receive a lot of press releases and announcements every day. Your newsworthy story needs to be truly interesting and unique. Build a reputation for having interesting stories and journals will be more receptive to you. Making yourself available to journalists is a great way to build that relationship, as well. You can sign up for Help a Reporter Out and get featured as an expert source.
Being creative will help you find ways of generating publicity for your small business. While it can be difficult, remaining focused and consistently reaching out will improve your success. You never know when that one story will generate a lot buzz around your small business.