5 Ways to Boost Media Coverage for Your Business

5 Ways to Boost Media Coverage for Your Business

Every new business needs the power of PR to make a splash, but where do you start, and how can you get it right without breaking the bank? Here are 5 ways to boost media coverage for your business. 


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Highlights

  • Every business has a story to tell
  • Forget the term ‘viral’
  • Get your clients to champion you

Bill Gates once said: “If I was down to my last dollar, I'd spend it on public relations.” But for many new businesses, PR often isn’t top of their ‘To Do’ list. They think it's ‘not for them’ or it ‘costs too much’. So how do you get it right? Here are five ways to boost your PR and gain coverage across the ever-changing media.

1. Start by thinking about your story

A poorly thought-out and executed PR plan will set you up to fail from the beginning. So sit down and work out what you want to say, who you need to say it to, who you want to listen and what you wish to achieve.

“Media coverage provides businesses with a more cost effective way to reach larger audiences than they ever could alone,” says Stephen Waddington, author of #BrandVandals. “The benefit of someone else writing about your business include increased sales, a boost for employee morale and awareness among new suppliers or recruits.”

2. Be an expert in your field

The quickest way to achieve positive PR is to be seen to know what you are talking about. A trusted business is a successful business. Journalists always want to speak to successful people who can illustrate that the advice they are giving has worked for them.

Charlie Mullins, the CEO of Pimlico Plumbers, uses Twitter and his company's blog to get himself heard: “Decide what you know and what you’re comfortable speaking about, then market yourself as an expert. Radio stations are desperate for views that crystallise opinion and will stimulate debate, so don’t sit on the fence. Newsdesks love personalities prepared to give good quotes on topical issues,” he explains. “Very soon you will realise there are not so many people willing to put their head above the parapet, and in no time journalists will start ringing you.”

3. Vlog your way to victory

Video is key for PR, especially with YouTube fast becoming the main tool that younger generations use to consume content.

“Use video to humanise the company, add value to the market place and articulate exactly what it stands for,” says Amir Bazrafshan, creative director of Apricot Video Marketing. “This helps to generate trust while differentiating from the competition. We used Twitter’s six-second Vine technology to offer tips last year and have started to use the live streaming service Periscope.

“But forget the term ‘viral’. Make your video useful for your audience, get them watching for the right reasons and then it will be shared far and wide and generate PR value.”

4. Develop angles and content that really matters

Most businesses have a plethora of stories within their business to talk about, but they often fail to realise their importance to the wider media narrative.

“We’ve recognised the importance of using case studies to demonstrate the customer benefits of using our service,” says Katie Olver, chief marketing officer of cloud-hosting provider Memset. “Whether a customer has been able to grow their business, save time and money, or do business better as a result of our services, journalists are far more tempted to write about us when they can educate their readers about real-life solutions to problems people face.

“For our own clients, it’s an opportunity to be positioned as a thought leader or innovator in their field. Content we create also enables us to tap into PR coverage in vertical markets if there is a success story relevant for that industry.

“We then repurpose the material for use on our website, newsletters and direct mail to earn credibility with prospects.”

5. Write the right press release

Journalists rely on press releases and well-created pitches. They often copy and paste parts of these for ease and speed when they’re on a deadline, so one that is well created stands a decent chance of being converted into a published story. But you need to make that story relevant and timely.

“Mostly, ‘press releases’ are written in the way a PR’s client would write a news story,” writes Mike Butcher, editor-at-large of TechCrunch, in his blog post The Press Release Is Dead – Use This Instead . “They are usually pretty rambling and designed to please the client (read: stroke their ego) rather than assist the journalist to get stuff done.”

Better coverage is achieved, he says, when people think about the journalist who has to read all of these pitches fast. You also need to ensure that what you think is news actually lives up to that billing, and that it has an angle the journalist will be interested in.

PR today has been democratised by the internet. No longer do businesses have to syphon off a big slice of their funds to pay for an agency on an expensive retainer to act for them. These five methods show just how much your business can do itself, without spending a fortune.

Over to you now. What's been your experience of getting media coverage for your business? Tell us your tips in the comments below. 

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