We hosted the ever-so-knowledgeable public relations pro, Marybeth Bentwood, on our podcast. Marybeth helps small businesses get big publicity.
Here are just a few of the helpful tips she shared with our audience.
1. Getting press coverage is not just about exposure.
Prior to the pandemic, when Marybeth was asked how publicity can help your business, she’d say it was to generate awareness and credibility. But times have changed.
With fewer opportunities to be found through marketing campaigns such as events, she’s now seeing press hits result in immediate new sales for her clients. While you can’t often tie press coverage directly to sales, it is increasingly happening.
2. The definition of “media” has expanded greatly.
It’s not just about the major publications anymore. Niche outlets, podcasters, influencers — these are all great channels for publicity for your business.
What’s more, you can take advantage of the social-sharing platforms and become your own media outlet.
3. Business owners are excellent sources for journalists.
Why? Because journalists are looking for experts. As a business owner, you are an expert in what you do. Really, you are! You’re also a great source for stories about running a business and your local economy.
4. Put a media kit on your website.
Make it as easy as possible for journalists to find the information they need to write about your business.
So add a one-page media kit to your website. Include your mission statement, founding story, bio, high-resolution photos, and a bullet-point list of your accomplishments. Also be sure to include all your contact information such as where your business is located, how to reach you, and your social media handles.
5. It’s your job to give journalists a reason to want to share your story.
Journalists do not exist to promote businesses. They share relevant stories and information with their audience.
As a business owner, your job is to give journalists a reason to want to share your story. So do your research. Read as much as you can about trends in your industry. Follow the journalists covering your area of expertise. What are their motivations? How might your story be relevant to them?
And what’s the #1 biggest mistake Marybeth sees business owners make?
When business owners get a press hit, they often share the article or interview with a competing media outlet. While it’s true that the first article gives you credibility, journalists are not interested in recycling stories from competitive outlets. Find a new angle or a way to build off the previous story.