Even an article in your local independent newspaper will guarantee a few hundred eyes.
The media has a symbiotic relationship with businesses — you give them the story and they give you the audience. So why aren’t any news outlets publishing your story?
Most likely, you aren’t speaking their language. Asking the right member of the media in the right way doesn’t guarantee success; you also need a newsworthy story.
Have Something to Say
Put yourself in the shoes of a journalist. What are the most compelling stories in your business? Do you have a new product? Did you just make a big hire? Did you close a Series A?
No, getting stand-up desks in your office is not newsworthy.
While you’re developing something newsworthy, build connections with people who can spread the word. This is a long-game tactic, but a commitment to networking with bloggers, journalists and influencers is essential.
Imagine having a rolodex of content creators at all the top publications.
If you focus on targeting journalists in your niche or industry and you keep in constant contact with them, they’ll become your go-to channel for sharing your newsworthy business evolution.
“Forming relationships with the media and bloggers in your industry is indispensable to your public relations program.” – Kerry Allen, Chief Content Officer, Ontraport
Tips for Engaging with the Media/Bloggers
Building relationships with journalists takes continual effort, so reserve a little time to work on these connections each week.
To make connections stick:
- Follow the writers on social media. Make sure to republish/retweet their stuff.
- Pitch to them on a regular basis. They’ll say no sometimes; don’t take it personally. Each ask will increase your chances of a yes!
- Thank them sincerely and often. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
- Keep track of their career evolution. Send a sincere note when appropriate.
Now that we’ve given you some ideas, spend some time thinking about where the influencers of your industry — the movers-and-shakers — can be reached online:
- Where are they going to read industry news?
- What are their favorite blogs?
- Where can you find them on social media?
List the top five industry verticals to research for journalists and five industry publications where you’d like to see a spotlight of your business published.
Try these essential digital PR tools:
- Muck Rack – Find and pitch story ideas to the right journalists
- HARO (Help a Reporter Out) – Allows you to respond to reporters looking for articles in your industry or expertise
- Connect6 – Find and connect with anyone
- Social Media
- Events and networking
- Good ol’ face-to-face introductions (the best kind!)
Build a Media List
As you reach out to journalists, begin to build a media list. This living document will function as an address book of sorts where you’ll keep up-to-date on each writer’s most recent work and archive your evolving relationships.
It will also help you categorize your connections, such as separating local connections from non-local or contributors from editors.
Expand the Reach of the Publications
Once your content is published, make sure to maximize its reach by reposting and repurposing it as much as possible. If you send out a newsletter, include a link to your published content. Include a link to the publication in your own articles, or post about the publication on your blog.
Tweet it to the world, and post about it on your Facebook page. Any avenue that reaches current or potential customers is fair game!
Once you’ve posted your press release on the wire or your story’s been published, don’t stop there — you’ve still got plenty of work to do! That content doesn’t have a shelf life, so make the most of it by recycling it into new content. Doing this will continue to spread buzz and increase your exposure.
Here are some ideas for you to try — repurpose your content into a:
- More in-depth blog article
- Visually appealing infographic
- Short, enticing post on social media
- Pre-packaged, guest blog post
The possibilities are endless, so keep reusing, sharing, and recycling. You can use this content over and over again — take advantage of it and you’ll see your content reach a huge audience.
SEO, short for search engine optimization, has been a thorn in the small business owner’s foot since search engines were created, but SEO is definitely a part of a successful page on the internet, so don’t forget to follow these tips to make sure your outreach gets Google’s attention.
- Write title tags and meta descriptions for every page! They take very little time to write and can seriously boost your SEO.
- Publish quality pages. Google search engines have become so advanced that they actually read content like humans, so provide compelling and useful content written with the reader in mind.
- Make sure your pages load quickly. Page speed directly affects SEO, so use tools such as PageSpeed Insights to measure your loading speed, W3 Total Cache to increase your blog’s speed, and Compressor.io to optimize your images.
Other SEO Resources
- Moz – The entire internet looks to Moz for SEO answers.
- Quicksprout – Online marketing expert Neil Patel frequently blogs about SEO.
- Search Engine Land – An entire blog dedicated to SEO news and strategy.
What’s your PR strategy? Let us know in the comments!