For any small business wanting to get noticed the power of TV, radio and print is invaluable in getting your name out to thousands of people in a short amount of time. But for many small businesses this exposure is elusive and they are left wondering why their competitors keep getting all the luck! If that’s you, we’re here to change all of that and help you get your name in lights with these three little secrets:
If you want to be featured in the media you first need to understand how the media works – just like fashion, the media has seasons, magazines have the longest lead time usually. Publications such as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Cleo which are produced monthly are planned months and months in advance. There’s no point pitching your Christmas hamper to them in November because you would’ve well and truly missed the boat on that one. Knowing this information can help you plan your PR strategy. TV ad radio and newspapers have their own editorial calendars too. Keeping this in mind when planning what to send will help you improve your chances of being featured.
Do your homework
Writing press releases, sending emails, posting out products, all takes valuable time and money and you are wasting both if you haven’t bothered to do your homework BEFORE you begin. You’d never dream of sending a cloth nappy sample to a fishing magazine but just emailing everyone on a media list is the same thing, you’ll end up in the spam folder. You’re far better off being strategic and targeted. Think about which type of publications you want to be featured in and then learn more about them – who is the editor, the journalists, the producer, the reporters? What sort of stories do they talk about and most importantly who is talking about products or services like yours?
Build a relationship
It’s not what you know but who you know. If you’ve heard this phrase before it’s because in some cases it’s true. If I’m honest, I’m more likely to feature someone on the blog who has been nice to me in the past than someone who just emails out of the blue. This can be frustrating for those just starting out but the good news is that there are ways to get on the good side of journalists and reporters. My first advice is to identify a publication you specifically want to work with and find out the journalist’s name. Using their name is not just polite, it’s essential. I don’t know about you but if I get an email from someone and they can’t be bothered using my name I’m a lot less likely to read it. This one little thing can set you apart from the hundreds of people who pitch every day. If you are fortunate enough to be picked up by the media always follow up with a thank you email, so you can build that relationship further.
If you loved these tips you’ll be excited to know that the new round of Johanna Baker-Dowdell’s Make Me A Star PR program starts soon! Johanna is our PR guru and is the reason our AusMumpreneur Awards have been featured on Sunrise, Today Show Australia,Today Tonight and in newspapers and magazines all over Australia! She is the real deal and will be revealing even more secrets to how to be noticed by the media! This program is a great way for you to get your PR strategy all organised so you can hit the ground running for 2015! Program starts on 17 November.
The Make Me a Star program includes six one-hour online learning sessions.
- Session 1: PR groundwork and planning
- Session 2: Media Lists and Media Releases
- Session 3: Pitching to the Media and PR Writing
- Session 4: Editorial Calendars and PR Opportunities
- Session 5: Social Media and Brand YOU
- Session 6: Your PR Strategy
Sign up for the course here:
AGREED! We hunt down editorial calendars well in advance to help plan social media content. Superb tips!
Thanks Melissa, yes having that knowledge can make all the difference!
Awesome overview! I love the ideas of building relationships and targeting my marketing. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Marija, I find that building relationships is a great strategy for business all round too.
Getting to be friends with a local reporter and columnist has worked great for me locally. Great Article!
That’s excellent John, its a great strategy!
Good advice. The rule to making it in the media is to always be prepared for the media. If you’re on top of the pulse, tuned into the News Alerts and have the gift of spinning your business with relevance at every turn, you’ll make it!
… sound information, finely written! I know from experience how important ALL these points are!!!
As someone that has had to pitch shopping centers and retailers for 25 years, I found those tips very valuable. People really underestimate the power of doing prior research. But in today’s day and age, it’s almost expected by the receiving party. Great advice!
Thanks Shana, I think a little bit of research can really go a long way!
Great post! I never realized how advanced things are planned out! Relationships are the key in everything! Thanks for helping us understand how to stand out and build the relationship.
Thanks Stacy I agree, relationships are key to everything we do.
Editorial calendar… of COURSE. Thanks for the reminder!
Thanks Cinthia 🙂
Great tips! I am just learning about PR and the media and it is a huge mystery to me. Your information is so clear and easy to understand, thanks!
Thanks Shannon, I’m so glad you found it helpful!
Thanks for the great tips and especially the reminder of the importance of everything we do being strategic and targeted. Just as in business where know, like and trust are the keys to success, thanks for the tip about building relationships!
Thanks Yvonne, yes targeting is the key, otherwise we’re just wasting so much time and energy approaching people who probably won’t be interested, instead of building relationships with those who will!
Great tips here. Just like in anything we do. Should always research and find out the ins and outs.
Hi Jacque, yes I agree, research goes for everything we do!
This is a FABULOUSLY powerful post! So many small business owners I work with believe that their product or service is just going to be “discovered” because it’s so good! Thank you for shedding light on some of the “back office” strategies that are necessary to get your business in front of the media. ~ M
Thanks Morgan, yes its a bit hard to be discovered by chance in such a competitive environment! But its pretty easy if you take the right steps.
This is juicy and filled with media mayhem which I love considering I went to school for multimedia journalism. Writing press/news releases are not my strong suit so I will be keeping tabs on you my lovely sprinkle of sunshine!
Thanks Bernard, I find the media such an interesting field it sounds like a great course that you did!
Thanks for the reminder to be patient, it taking some time to build relationships.
Hi Sam, thanks yes, patience is the key.
Great Advice! I guess I need to start my homework. Great point made about taking the time to figure out who you want to work with instead of sending random emails which will end up in the spam folder. This is great. Thank you
Love & Light
Thanks Denita, yes you don’t want your press release ending up in the spam folder!
As a new small business these are great tips! I will start thinking about spring products now!
Yes good idea Leah!
I’ve had firms try to explain the importance of PR in endless conversations and you have summed up the importance in 3 key points. I am definitely participating in your program.
Thanks Rosie! So glad you loved my post and found it valuable.
Great article lady! I have never thought of being featured on TV before, obviously I am thinking too small and need to dream BIGGER! Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks April, glad you found it inspiring! Yes its always good to dream a little bigger!