Gain more exposure and amp up your small business public relations with these media strategies that will keep your company top of mind with your most important publications
A company profile, interview or story in a top industry publication can be a golden opportunity for small businesses. Increasing media exposure and coverage within your target industry often translates into more business opportunities and more growth momentum. An active PR strategy should involve showcasing your business in front of the right media contacts for optimal company exposure with the goal of getting more media coverage.
Here are 5 PR tactics and strategies you can use to increase your small business public relations opportunities with targeted industry media.
Develop a Target Media List and Contacts
Knowing which publications are the best fit for your niche industry should be the number one goal for more media exposure. Develop a list of the media outlets targeted for your industry based on important criteria like their target audience, geographic distribution and editorial focus. If appropriate, create segments for different types of news coverage you may want to achieve in your target industry.
But knowing which publications (print or online) are most influential for your business is only half the battle. You need to also get to know the individual contacts that control media coverage. Often there are multiple contacts that serve different editorial roles within a media outlet. For example, there may be one person that simply picks up and runs press releases. Although often not the most influential media contact for major editorial stories within a publication, these contacts can be very important for ensuring your press releases get exposure. If press release coverage is a big concern, reach out to the editorial contact in charge of running release coverage and learn their process. Do you need to get them an advance copy before 3:00 pm in order it in their morning news coverage? Do they prefer a media alert summary in addition to the full release? Are press ready photos required? They’ll appreciate your outreach to make their job easier, and the result will be more consistent and timely coverage of your press releases.
Make Social Connections and Engage with Media Contacts
Every business is looking to expand their social reach, and media outlets are no exception. Be sure to connect with media contacts and publications wherever they are on social media – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and even on Pinterest.
After you connect, be sure to engage frequently with your media contacts. The goal is to constantly remind them that you are a valuable business within your target industry. Be sure to stay active with their posts through comments, likes and shares. And of course be sure to actively manage your social media accounts with a good flow of relevant content and posts.
Position You and Your Company as Industry Experts
One of the best tactics or strategies to ensure more media exposure is positioning you and your company as a thought leader and go-to industry expert. When industry publications are working on industry stories, articles or coverage of industry news they often seek out industry experts for their insight. Many small businesses already have someone in their business that has a deep level of expertise because that expertise is how the business got started in the first place. The company itself may offer specialized services or expertise that can also be seen as innovative within the industry.
Don’t be shy about making it known within your industry what value you bring to the industry. Give your individual business experts as much exposure as you can through your website, blog, forums and on social media so that the word gets out about your expertise. Being active on niche blogs outside of your business is also very helpful to establish expertise within your industry. Finally, be sure you pitch your expertise to your target media contact list to let them know that you are available for exclusive interviews and contributions to editorial coverage as needed.
Create and Distribute Value-Add Studies, Polls or Infographics
Releasing an industry report that offers valuable data or information is a great way to get some instant media coverage. Industry publications are always looking for tidbits of industry data to share that can offer insightful, useful information to subscribers. Create the studies, polls or infographics using in-house expertise and offer as free information. You can announce it via a press release for optimal exposure, followed by promotion on your website and social media outlets. If you don’t have in-house resources to produce the data, consider partnering with another company on a study to share the cost or making a small investment with a third party market research firm.
Infographics (informational reports created primarily with graphics) are also a great way to package and share data in an easy to digest format. Using a variety of industry sources, you can easily create a new spin on industry information. Because infographics are easy to scan and read, they are more likely to be shared and can quickly become viral.
These value-add resources that your company makes available can help position your small business as a valuable resource within your industry.
Participate in Industry Meetings and Events
Active participation in industry events gets your business in front of both targeted prospects and media contacts. Aside from lead generation, use events as an opportunity to announce new products or services. Industry trade contacts are looking to cover big industry news, and events are a primary source for industry news. Outreach to media contacts (from your target media contact list) prior to an event is extremely important to ensure you get noticed at the event. Offer an exclusive interview or demo to entice media contacts to meet with you and be sure you have plenty of media kits on hand with essential product or service details to encourage easier media coverage.
Networking at industry trade events sponsored or managed by targeted publications is also a great way to make influential connections that can result in more media coverage. And although editorial teams are supposed to separate advertising or sponsorship dollars from editorial coverage, they still tend to favor businesses that patronize their events.
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