January 6 2015

3 ways to get publicity for your business in 2015

For small and medium-sized business owners, the start of a new year presents an opportunity to think about growth strategies. Marketing is one of the drivers of your business growth, and by extension, publicity is one of tools you should use to create awareness and stay “top of mind”.

Publicity is often a more cost-effective option to advertising and articles about your business have greater longevity than advertising – making them an effective element of your overall content marketing strategy.

The challenge

Many small businesses and startups find publicity, and by extension, media coverage to be difficult, confusing and time consuming. Despite your best efforts, the truth is that you may not see results right away – or at all for that matter. While you may love your next great idea, newest product or startup, the trick is getting journalists and bloggers to feel the same way.

The good news is that getting media pick up – earned media – lends credibility to your organization and positions you as a thought-leader.

So how then does a small business or startup garner more – and better – media coverage?

According to Nielsen, 92% of global consumers trust earned media “above all other forms of advertising.”

 

Here are the three things you can do to ensure your business gets more, and better, media coverage in 2015:

1. Create newsworthy content

OK, that’s great – but what constitutes newsworthiness? And how can you connect this newsworthiness to your company and its products?

What your organization considers newsworthy and exciting may make a reporter or blogger hit “delete”. Company profile pieces are not likely to get results unless you’re doing something incredibly unique – to get their attention you will need to frame the issue in an appealing way.

Try to find a current news issue, event, or trend that you can use as a “springboard” for your story. It’s what David Meerman Scott refers to as “newsjacking” – using a current event or topic as a way to make your company news seem timely, relevant and on trend.

Studies or survey results are other examples of content that do not come across as “salesy”. When presented in the form of a study, facts and raw data give credibility to your news and infographics are highly visual and shareable.

The key is to understand that the story cannot always be about you directly.

2. Contact the right media, the right way at the right time

Getting your news into the right hands is key. So when it comes to your media strategy, it’s about getting your information to the right people in the right place. Who covers your industry? Develop a comprehensive media list of television and radio stations, daily and weekly newspapers, college newspapers, trade and special interest magazines on both the local and national level. An editorial calendar can help you plan your publicity and dovetails with the needs of individual media outlets.  By become familiar with deadlines, audience demographics, preferences for receiving information (e.g., phone, fax, or email), and other special formats, you can develop a positive and ongoing relationship with reporters and bloggers.

3. Get out of the building

Speaking at trade conferences, panel discussions and roundtables is a great way to get noticed — by customers and prospects, potential partners and by the media. Create a list of events you want to speak at and contact their organizers with an idea for a presentation or topic discussion. Many annual conferences post a call for proposals from six to nine months before the following year’s event, so make sure to plan ahead. You can also partner with other non-competing organizations to create your own event from the ground up.

Conclusion

Good publicity doesn’t just happen — it takes time and effort. Have a plan, stay on top of trends, understand and connect with the influencers in your industry and position yourself as an industry expert.

We’re always happy to give advice – tell us about your publicity and marketing challenges for 2015.

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Have you demonstrated your expertise lately?

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