Search online for any successful business and you are almost guaranteed to come across some form of media coverage. While advertising, social media, and content marketing are fundamental elements of any successful business plan, securing media coverage is an extremely valuable method of increasing a business’ public exposure, as well as gaining approval of trusted journalists, widely-admired influencers, and other members of the press through earned media placements in magazines, newspapers, online news, and social media posts. There are many ways to secure media coverage for your business, no matter what industry it is in.
Online Optimism has created a list of 5 ways to secure media coverage for your business. While more methods certainly exist, these common strategies and tactics can be relatively easy means of increasing your business’ media coverage, and ultimately improving your sales, traffic, and clientele base.
Specific Media Lists
Before you begin any media outreach and pitching, research who are the top influencers in your industry. You will want to create a highly-specific list of every national and local journalist, reporter, blogger, social media influencer, radio host, and any other individuals who drive and influence the media coverage and conversations surrounding your industry. For example, those working to improve the national media coverage of a hospital or a healthcare entity, a comprehensive media list will include all known healthcare industry experts, leaders, and contributors. Influencers receive dozens of pitches and press releases each week. Sending a pitch unrelated to the influencer’s realm of work is an easy way to have your message dismissed altogether and shows a lack of insight and specificity from the sender. Therefore, the path to securing media coverage for your business should always begin with creating an industry-specific media list.
Hosting special events at your business is a great way to attract the public, especially the media, to visit and learn more about your products or services. Hosting a special event requires creativity, excellent organization, and proper outreach to secure interest in the event. A special event should portray your business positively, but accurately. Take all precautions to ensure the event is run accordingly and leaves a good impression on all those who attend. That being said, not all businesses are in appropriate industries for hosting special events. The public and media tend to gravitate towards industries with wide-appeal, such as travel, hospitality, automotive, art, and retail. If your business’ industry lacks the appeal of others, there are other means for a business to affix itself to other types of events, such as fundraisers and philanthropic activities.
Media exclusives are a powerful tool that can be used to create media interest and add leverage to your media outreach attempts. Journalists and influencers are always vying for first coverage of interesting stories. For example, if you are a new restaurant, target the top local media outlets and choose which will provide the most appropriate coverage. Offer exclusive, first-look coverage of your restaurant and provide a deadline for a response. In most cases, if you target the correct person at the media outlet, you will hear back instantly. If you do not get a timely response, move on to the next contact and media outlet. This strategy works well in many industries. Healthcare entities can offer media exclusives for new technologies, surgeries, and medicines. A car dealership can offer a media exclusive of the newest car model. Clothing stores can share their newest clothing lines. Brainstorm what makes your business unique and what it has to offer that no one else does. This is a vital component to include in any media exclusive you offer.
Newsjacking is when a brand or business successfully capitalizes on breaking news by injecting a news-relevant narrative that portrays the brand or business in a positive way. This concept can be difficult to grasp and is not a readily available tactic. Successful newsjacking requires constant monitoring of industry news and a solid understanding of what news is appropriate to seize. Always avoid any news stories dealing with death, tragedy, natural disasters, and disease. Targeting lighthearted, popular news stories eliminates the risk of backlash. Let’s look to a great newsjacking example when the brand Oreo capitalized on the power outage during Super Bowl XLVII. With one timely tweet and image, Oreo received over 12,000 Retweets before the power returned.
When done right, newsjacking is a powerful strategy that can be used to draw more attention to your business. Depending on your business’ size and reach, target national or local news. Remember to always avoid controversial or tragic breaking news. If you are interested in practicing newsjacking, it is helpful to look at past news stories and figure out how your business could have appropriately capitalized on them.
In addition to helping the communities that support your business, philanthropic activities are a great way to get noticed by the public and media. Sponsoring charities and charitable activities attaches your business to a respectable cause, and can drive more business and result in more media attention. Also, having your business’ website link on a charity or charitable event’s website improves your own business’ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and can improve its ranking on Google, which makes it more visible to those searching for your business and services it provides.
Securing media coverage for your business can be the difference between achieving success and closing up shop. These are just a few of many strategies and services Online Optimism provides our clients to help grow their businesses. If your business is in need of public relations, digital marketing, SEO, or social media management assistance, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help.