While it would be great for almost any business to make it into the Wall Street Journal or some other national media outlet, there is still much to be said for the power of the little local community newspaper, magazine, radio or television news. Whether your company targets local consumers or not, getting some lime light in the local news is a great way to develop hometown support, acknowledgment and patronage.
Here are 5 Easy Steps to getting your company’s next benchmark a bit of local media attention:
- Look for News. Hire someone new? Offering a new product? Celebrating an anniversary? Donating to a charity? All of these and more constitute newsworthy material that a local outlet might be inclined to include in the business, calendar, or other relevant section.
- Write Down the Facts. Press releases are fairly straightforward. Just remember what they taught you in school: The 5 W’s – Who, What, Where, When, Why. Start with answering just these questions about your newsworthy item, writing as clearly and concisely as possible. Then fill in with any other pertinent details and perhaps a quote from yourself or the business owner. You should be able to get the gist of the press release in a quick glance. Use spell check. Double-check name spellings and dates. Be sure to include at the top: a headline; contact information for the public as well as for the media; the location and date; and the company logo.
- Snap a Photo. If you have an event or promote a manager, take a picture. Be sure to use a digital camera capable of high resolution images, as these will be required from any media outlet unless it is online. When you send out a press release, however, send only low-resolution images so as to avoid being blocked by spam filters.
- Do Your Research. Know your local media and familiarize yourself with the sections or segments to which your company’s news would pertain. If you are a new restaurant, for instance, read the local food columnist’s page. Most local papers will offer a way for you to access this individual columnist or at least the section editor. Also, keep in mind what is called “lead-time.” If your event is tomorrow and you are sending information to the calendar editor tonight—good luck! Most community magazines work anywhere from one to 3 or 4 months in advance of publication. Research and plan ahead to send your press release to the right person, the right section, and at the right time for the best chances of obtaining coverage.
- Follow up. In today’s world of junk mail and touchy spam filters, everyone gets more emails and calls than they read. Just because you sent your news to the right person, doesn’t mean that person ever saw it. In a week or so, email (or if you’re bold, call) to see if the journalist had any questions or requests with regard to the news you sent them on X date. The squeaky wheel gets the grease…but remember to be respectful. Do not nag or follow up relentlessly.
For help drumming up news about your company, call or email AR & Co. PR & Marketing and speak to one of our PR specialists today.
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