In order to gain media coverage for your business you need to be able to find interesting stories about your company and share them in an appealing and simple way with journalists.
Not all stories are obvious. People in ‘non-sexy’ or unglamorous businesses may wonder why a journalist would be interested in writing about their business. All businesses have stories, expertise or advice to share. The trick is to find out what the stories are and then package them in an interesting way to catch the attention of a journalist.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to find the stories within your business:
What is different?
What are you offering that no other business is or how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Journalists are always looking for something different or unique. This could be how you came to build the business, the products or services you offer or how you offer them. Also include what this means for the end-user, what benefits do they gain from your offerings?
What is new?
There is a reason it is called news, journalists are only interested in something that is new. If you launched a new product, don’t wait a week to tell journalists about it, spread the word before, or as, it happens.
What are your customers interested in?
If you have had a run on a specific product or service, why is this happening? It could be that you are a gym and memberships have tripled in the lead-up to summer. Make this into a story. Also keep an eye on what your target audience is talking about, this is a true indication of what they are interested in, is there comment you could provide on the topic?
What are the trends in your industry?
Every industry goes through times of growth, cutbacks or evolves and changes in some way. When these situations arise put yourself forward as a spokesperson to comment on these topics. Has a new technology just come out that will change how you do business? Put yourself forward to journalists to discuss the impact it will have on your industry. If you do this consistently journalists will soon start to see you as an industry expert and come to you for comment.
Evergreen stories are those that come around every year, such as Christmas, tax time and school holidays. Is there some way you can link yourself to an event like this? Journalists are looking to fill their publications and timeslots with stories relating to the time of year. For example an accountant could talk about what businesses need to do in the lead-up to tax time or a child-care centre could talk about ways to entertain children during school holidays.
What has your business achieved? Have your signed five new clients or won an award? Let journalists know. They won’t be interested in mundane activities, such as employee of the month, but they will care if it is interesting and a big deal.
Everyone loves a story about how someone has overcome a problem and succeeded despite setbacks. Did you lose investors at the last minute or did a competitor move in next door? How did you overcome this problem and continue to succeed in your business venture? Make sure to include how you overcame the problem so the audience can potentially learn from your experiences.
Once you have answered these questions and found your stories, start sharing them with the appropriate journalists. Find the journalist, publication, TV or radio show that is interested in the topic and pitch your story idea to them.