Ever read a newspaper article about a business owner and wondered how they got such great publicity?
Or maybe you were watching Sunrise and started jumping up and down because they interviewed an expert about a topic you know back to front so it could have been you and your business getting the publicity.
Getting interviewed in the media isn’t as daunting as it might sound. All you need is a good story and an understanding of how to pitch that story to a journalist.
But what’s your story?
It could be a new trend, a solution that clients love, or it could be a different viewpoint to a story already in the news.
Let me give you an example.
Meagan Gleeson, a Hills mum, started Unique Meringues selling sugar stamps – it’s like edible baking paper that you pipe meringues on to and while they’re cooking beautiful patterns are baked on to the treats.
Meagan approached the Hills Shire Times with her story angle – a unique product that’s only now become available in Australia thanks to Meagan.
The Hills Shire Times did the story as well as the Adelaide Advertiser while Better Homes and Garden are busily baking to see how good they are and where they can put it in the show and online.
And Meagan’s only just dipped her toes in the media … she’s also talking with bloggers to get coverage in the digital space – a topic I’ll expand on shortly.
Let’s look at other businesses and stories they might have –
A tax accountant is often in big demand from journalists at the end of the financial year so they might pitch a story about the “most bizarre items taxpayers try to claim each year” or “the most common mistakes people make when filling out their tax return.”
A dentist might pitch a story about common myths about braces or the alarming increase in children getting fillings.
A speech therapist might pitch a story about why there’s an increase in speech problems in young children or how to identify speech issues in toddlers.
The appropriate way to pitch your story to a journalist is by way of a media release. It is usually one A4 page and is written in the third person.
Aim to send out one media release a month which should only take a few hours.
Even if you get just one interview when you’re first starting out doing your own PR … that’s new customers coming through your door.
Media is one way of spreading the word about your business but you mustn’t forget the power of the blogger.
Bloggers have a niche and loyal audience. They like you to get to know their blog before having a conversation with them. So comment on their posts, follow them on their social media platforms. Starting a conversation with a blogger is the best way to move forward to talk about working together to promote your business or service.
The most important thing to remember when reaching out to bloggers is to make sure your product or service is a good fit for them and their blog is a good fit for you.
When you do reach out to them on email, be sure to be personable and up front about what you want. You can ask them to review your product or service. You can ask for their rate card – how much they charge for a sponsored post or a review.
They might be open to talking about your product in return for one to giveaway to their audience.
There is no set rate that bloggers charge but usually the bigger the audience the more they charge.
This might feel foreign to you but everything does when you’ve never tried it before.
Embrace the fear and give it a go. I can’t tell you the amount of times business owners have finally sent out a media release after procrastinating for months to find the journalists not only helpful and friendly but ready to do the story there and then.
Bloggers are just as friendly and are always looking to create new opportunities.
So take action now, no matter how small your business is or even if you’re only just starting out. Publicity will reach your target audience and bring new customers to your door. Good Luck!
About Janyne Moore
Janyne Co-Founded Catablog – an online directory of Australian and New Zealand bloggers and their social influence. Visitwww.catablog.com.au
Janyne also teaches businesses to do their own PR and get publicity in the media through Publicity for Profit.
Contact Janyne by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0450 686 693