Let PR show you how to attract attention from journalists
Media coverage can be hard to come by even for long -established companies, but it’s significantly more difficult for startups. Publicity is one of the best ways to tell your story and increase profitability. After all, no one will buy what you’re selling if they don’t know who you are.
For startups, it’s a classic example of a Catch-22: You need media coverage to become well known, but the media won’t cover you if you’re not already well known. But don’t give up! Here are a few tried and true methods for startups to get media coverage:
Be aware of the competition and find ways to differentiate yourself. For example, tell the part of your story that is unique to you, such as the struggles you encountered to raise capital or why the CEO chose to start the company.
Develop your key messages and repeat them at every opportunity.
Explain why your product or service will benefit the community or other businesses. Make sure you’re highlighting benefits over features.
Do a bit of homework to find out which journalists cover your industry and would be most likely to be interested in your company. Then, work to develop an ongoing relationship with him.
Once you have found the right journalist, offer her your story exclusively.
Find a way to be helpful to journalists. For instance, you can offer your services as an expert or thought-leader on a particular topic – without pitching a story about your company. Then, when you’re pitching for your own media coverage, the reporter will remember you.
Reach out to bloggers as well as traditional media outlets. You can find the ones that are right for your company with a simple Google search of bloggers in your field. For example, if you’re a technology startup, search for “top technology bloggers.”
You should then follow the same research pattern used to attract conventional journalists. Many have a legion of followers and a wide reach to help you distribute your story.
Create an interesting pitch and then call the reporter before sending to let her know it’s coming. Utilize social media to help generate early buzz and name recognition.
Find ways to get exposure for you or your company, such as speaking at conferences, joining community activities or penning opinion pieces for your local paper. For example, you could participate in an already-planned Habitat for Humanity project. This costs nothing but time and muscle, and these events tend to get media coverage, meaning you can do good works and possibly get your name in the paper.
Start a blog and promote it on your social media channels.
Seek out a PR firm to help you in the future. Once your company has become an established success, think about creating an actual budget for PR initiatives. The right PR agency can build on what you’ve started and take your promotion and publicity efforts to the next level.
At Axia, we work with established companies of all sizes to generate positive media relations for increased brand recognition and profitability. When you’ve advanced your company from the startup stage and are looking for assistance to proceed to the top of your industry, we’ll be here and ready to help. To learn more, download our free e-book Learn Media Relations from the Media.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.