This week (besides the humor break yesterday) this blog highlighted getting small business media coverage (or not). What not to do (and a bit of a chuckle on stories borne from real life experience), was covered in these 17 quick tips.
We also highlighted 9 quick tips on making your small business newsworthy.
The week began with understanding how a newsroom works.
Laura Brewer, a fellow Ultimate Blog Challenge participant, asked how writers can garner media exposure. It occurred to me that a lot of creatives (writers, artists, photographers, craftsmen, etc.) could be wondering the same thing.
So, it made sense to focus a post on some easy opportunities for exposure to get you started.
- Exhibits, book signings, public speaking engagements, showings and planned appearances are all great things to spotlight in the calendar feature. Most daily and weekly papers offer this. Many television stations, including local network affiliates and of course your cable news provider, also run a calendar screen roll as part of the nightly news. Read or watch the media you intend to pitch to so you get a sense on how to write these (length, information included, effective call to actions, etc.) as well as to get the specific contact information for submission. Almost all broadcasts (radio too) and print editions include instructions on how to submit with this feature presentation.
- Did you win an award, finish a project (book, painting, photo montage), get selected for an honor or land a client? The people section in the papers is designed for these type of announcements. Again, find submission and contact information in this section or the paper or on the company website.
- Have an opinion? Op-ed columns are another option for free publicity. Most papers feature at least one column a day from a contributor residing in the local community. This should not be about pitching your business, but instead, presenting a compelling opinion that will cause readers to look you up. Obviously, it’s best if you focus on something that is relevant to your business.
- Seeking to dip your toe in the national arena? Most trade magazines devote at least a couple of pages to reader comments (usually toward the front of the publication). You’d be amazed how many people read these. Keep it brief and interesting. These may also appear on the company website with your contact information (you must give permission for this).
- If you’ve written a book, there are a host of publications, Library Journal being one of the biggies, that do pre-publication reviews. Know, though, if you go this route you’ll need to plan ahead as it’s expected you’ll submit your book to these venues 4-6 months prior to the release date. Generally, if a fee is required for ‘this service’ you’re not dealing with a credible source.
- You can also seek out reviews post-publication. There are a lot freelancers that handle these (you need to do some reading to see who’s writing them), but a number of the trade journals also feature regular reviews of industry related books.
- Have more visual appeal with what you do? Most business publications, a good number of dailies and a growing number of trade pubs are now featuring reader content in full-page, often full-color content that uses images with short descriptions on who’s doing what in town (or in the industry). If you can provide high resolution photos of your artwork on display, photography exhibit, hand-crafted wares or other items that are better seen than described (it’s usually best to include people in these photos – most pubs now will require a release from these folks to publish their image), you can create a splash that draws attention to you.
- An increasing number of trade publication are now depending on garnering editorial content from readers (without compensation – some will do an ad trade, others don’t). Be careful how you spend your time here, but sometimes it’s worth a placement in a quality publication for the mileage you can get out of repurposing such pieces.
- If you’re a photographer an artist or a craftsman, consider approaching trade publications (and even some of the local papers) with your work to feature on the cover of their magazine or on the first page of a special section. You’ll need to do a little homework here (they plan well in advance and your image should be relevant), but this can be an opportunity to get a prominent message and often payment too. Some are now charging for this privilege (boggles the mind), so make sure you’re on the same page when you start these discussions.
These are simple ways you can get started on the path to seeing your name in the news. In a later blog post, I’ll delve deeper into the nuances of gaining editorial or broadcast feature exposure.