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4 Ways to Get More Media Attention for Small Businesses

By Garrett Spence   |    July 6, 2016   |    9:01 AM

A small business won't get anywhere if no one has heard of you. How can small businesses get more media attention and spread the word about their company?

1. Get to Know the Media

Whatever your plan to get press attention, you should build relationships months in advance of pitching. There are various ways of doing that: compliment a reporter via Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail, on a story he or she wrote. You can also leave a comment at the end of the online version of the story. Write an affirmative post on your blog highlighting a story of theirs, and email them the link. Connect with them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or in real life more than six months in advance of pitching them your story. Monitor their Twitter hashtags; often reporters chat with the public on Twitter, and you can reply to their tweets. Respond regularly to posts they’ve written. Meet reporters at big public or chamber of commerce events and get to know them. Give them your business card, but do not promote your small business. Sign up to Email lists are sent out on a daily basis that feature reporters needing experts for stories. Make sure to contact them as soon as something related to your expertise appears.

2. Reach Out to the Press with an Atypical Story

Once you have done your research and found the relevant press contacts who might be interested in your business, call them and tell them about your firm. Don’t promote your small business or tell the usual story, but have an interesting tale that features your company in a unique light. Give the media a compelling reason to feature your small business. This could be a story about an atypical mode you developed for tackling a customer problem, a rare service offer or one-of-a-kind product that you provide or a special employee that works for you that deserves some spotlight beyond working for you– such as a Veteran, former sports hero etc.

3. Get Your Startup Involved in Philanthropic Activities.

If you possess specialized expertise in an area, share your unique talent with a well-known voluntary or charitable organization that frequently gets press attention. Request that the charity add your business logo to their marketing pieces. Make sure that an eye-catching press release is included about your participation to attract the attention of the media. Continue to make an impact on your community by participating in all the big events. If you can contribute in a discernable way you are bound to attract more press attention and gain notoriety for your small business.

4. Hold an Event or Participate in a Local Event.

Host or take part in a pre-existing event. It can be anything from a just-for-fun event to a learning event, but make sure you bring a unique flavour to the table that is bound to get you noticed. You should contact the local press and tell them about it, but make sure your event is one-of-a-kind so that they want to report on it. Remember, the media receive multiple requests to cover events every day so your event, or participation, must be of immediate news value to journalists.