Public relations is a great way to try and get free publicity for your business. In its simplest form, you design a package that you can send to local media outlets to try and entice them to do a story on you and your business.
Should they do a story on your business, you than get free advertising that is worth a great deal of money. You get it for free as you make it into a news worth story that the media outlet wants to share with its viewers, listeners, or viewers.
This works well for local business as local television and cable companies are always looking for a good story.
Public relations boils down to Free publicity
Free publicity means you save on advertising costs. For a young business or even an established business free advertising is a good thing no matter how you look at it.
Anytime you can get free advertising you take it. The trick is creating the news angle that will make your business attractive to the media. You need to brainstorm ideas on how you can provide the media with some newsworthy stories.
Brainstorm ideas on how you can be newsworthy
You don’t have to be a headline producing story. You can be a heartwarming story just as easy. You need to figure out a few angles you can attempt to make into an interesting story. You then present this story to the media outlets and see if they want to make a story out of your idea.
You need to come up with some angle that demands attention. Something that you can shape into a story that they want to share. There are a number of ways to do this but some of the more powerful ways are to make the reader feel emotions for the story.
Ways to create a news angle
There is a real art to doing this but even beginners can figure out a starting point or two. Once again researching this subject for a few days on the Internet and at the local library will give you a great start in learning how to write a good story.
You can hire Public Relations teams or people but the cost is much higher than most businesses can afford. Once again you need to learn how to do a lot of this work on your own. Its not hard but it can be time consuming. With outsourcing becoming more popular you can find copywriters and PR people in places like Fivver.com and Elance.com
No matter what stage your business is at you can use Public Relations
Any time a story can be developed, is a great time for you to search for the free publicity angle. You need to constantly be aware of this marketing strategy. Learning how to react quickly to opportunities is essential as the news changes daily and the value of your story changes with it. Keeping an eye out for an angle you can use is a good marketing tip.
Being prepared when an opportunity arises is critical so you need to build a Press Kit that is the next chapter in your mini public relations course.
What makes a good story?
Think of your local news stations as a training ground to see what they like to report on. They have the major issues that they must report on each day. Then they start to focus on local stories. This is where you need to focus your attention.
How can you be the next local story?
There are a few ways to do this. Start first with trying to get to know the reporters and try to find out history on them and the stories they have done. This is not too hard as you can go to the web site of the media source and type in the reporter’s name and get a list of the stories they have done in the last few months.
Study this information to see if you can slant your story so that it will be interesting to this reporter. It may not work with this reporter all the time so do some research on others in that media outlet. Find two or three you can try to work with, research what they like to write about and make a little file on them.
You should always try to find the reporter that deals with stories that are close to what you have to offer. If you have a health-related story find the health reporter. If it’s a sports related story find the sports guy.
Once you find the reporter that fits the bill the closest, learn all you can about them and the way they write and report. The more you know the easier it is to slant your story to their liking.
Send your Press Release to the media outlets
Once you have created your Press Kit you can send it to the variety of media outlets and see what you can drum up for free publicity. If you took the steps listed above you have a much better chance of getting your story told.
Making friends with the press is a very good marketing step and once again costs very little to do. Learning how to make these reporters feel special is similar to making your clients feel good. Build trust as a reliable source for them to come to and work with.
If you can cultivate these relationships, you will find that they start to approach you to do a story. Once this happens you know you have made it. You are now the local expert. You can use this expertise to your advantage just cultivate all the relationships you can with media so that you can get your share of the free press.