Free Publicity and Exposure for Your Home Business Glen Allen VA
5 Ways to Gain Free Publicity and Exposure for Your Home Business
Making Yourself Newsworthy
By Lin Grensing-Pophal
You think you’ve got a great story to tell, but how do you convince the media? And, once they call, what are the dos and don’ts that can help you get effective coverage?
“Reporters are always looking for good sources,” says Traci Klein, a former reporter herself with eleven years of experience and currently a media relations professional who offers training and consulting to those trying to get their names in the news.
Home-based businesses are typically closely aligned with a niche, more so than other small business. Rather than having a broad-based market focus, home business entrepreneurs must focus on a niche to be successful. This leads to increased knowledge and familiarity with one’s business sector.
The more knowledge you are perceived to have, the more credibility you have by default. The savvy entrepreneur can leverage this credibility for news coverage and exposure in the media. It begins by understanding your niche.
Finding Your Niche
The key to obtaining effective coverage, says Traci Klein, is having a good understanding of the media market and which publications or broadcasts are likely to reach the people you want to reach. Make a list of the publications or programs you’d like to approach and learn something about them.
If the list is very large, you’ll want to do some prioritization. You might want to develop a tiered list of these media outlets, with the top tier representing places you’d most like to receive coverage. Learn as much as you can about each of these media outlets, the type of information covered, the tone, the reporters, etc. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to target your own pitches to meet their needs and the more comfortable you’ll be in responding to their inquiries.
“Any person who wants to get into a media market either locally or nationally, and wants to be taken seriously, should research their media outlets,” says Klein. That can be as simple as making a call to introduce yourself to an editor and finding out about deadlines and the types of stores or sources they’re interested in. “You can usually tell if a reporter is interested in what you have to offer, or not,” says Klein. If they’re not, don’t waste your time with them.
Making Your Pitch
Once you’ve identified some potential markets, the next step is to generate interest in what you have to offer.
Cherie Kerr is the president of ExecuProv ( www.execuprov.com ), a communication training company and principal of Kerr Companies Public Relations. “Find story ideas that are unique, timely and interesting,” says Kerr, “ideas that will pique the media’s interest. They get hundreds of pitches every day. You need to make yours stand out.”
Don’t ignore the news, she advises. Tying what you have to offer to something timely, can be a good way to generate interest and coverage.
Too often, says Klein, people are ...