When starting with press, is it best to start local?
I am thinking through a PR strategy. I have identified various publications that I would like to get into. Some of them are long shots. Would they be more interested in covering my business if I had some local press first?
Congratulations on your new venture! The key to getting media coverage, whether print or digital, is making your story newsworthy for the reporter. In your case, this could be: how storybook albums help create a family legacy, cross-generational connections, involving kids in a wholesome activity after school...see what I mean? Depending on the focus you choose to pitch, you'll then want to target the appropriate reporter/editor. So maybe it's the Family section editor of the local Burlington paper, or a Burlington-based website that focuses on ways to pass your grandparents' legacy on to future generations.
Here's the link to a PR tutorial I wrote for another startup, The Secret Sauce for Powerful PR: http://blog.ampervize.com/2014/11/14/the-secret-sauce-for-powerful-pr/
First, these are all great tactical suggestions but it is important to have an overall business strategy that marketing can then act on with a plan to get there.
What is the end in mind, even if it is years away? Who are you trying to sell to? Local, national, global customers? Or, investors and/or larger companies for acquisition? Perhaps several of these all of which need a different strategy.
Once you have these factors defined, then think about where these audiences get their information. From there the tactical begins. It will be constrained by budget and resources so a realistic plan can be made.
Also, without a PR firm, getting into any major publication is near impossible. They have access to all the editorial calendars and getting picked up by others. For local coverage, not as necessary but advised. Firms or consultants have contacts we would be difficult to get to in most cases.
Start local is great you might find that the bigger press catch on. Local press can be cheaper than national as well. You may find is that you do better local as well. In my experience i made so many more sales local.
Absolutely! Why would you want to start anywhere else?
Also, consider having a professional write your press releases. Every business owner I work with is pretty good at what they do, but when it comes to marketing their business (and yes press releases are marketing) they are out of their element.
Hi Deana! This is a great question. I think it's always a good idea to start pitching news to local press contacts, though if your story is good enough I don't think it necessarily matters if you have already received local press first before targeting bigger players -- this might even be a negative, as no reporter wants to report on something that has already received too much coverage. To make it in the bigger media, what you need is a great hook. What is the story of your business and why would a national audience care? If I were promoting your business, I would create a list of online, print and broadcast contacts in the Burlington, MA area in addition to targeting some smaller parenting blogs and magazines you like. You can also target the big guys in the hopes that they'll take an interest. As a side note, you might also try to connect with a Burlington radio station about possibly collaborating, since your storybook recordings might lend themselves well to being broadcast on air. Hope this helps!
Yes, and for more reasons than you think. You want to build a relationship with your local media. They will tell you what's wrong - and what's right - with your press releases, ads, etc. When you branch out, you'll look more professional!
It is always preferable to start local with any PR or Business Strategy, you can then test the water and build a profile. Additionally another aspect is could you service business that comes from some distance both from a logistical and capability standpoint and bearing in mind the added costs. Also many organizations and individuals prefer to buy local and may perceive extra risks with placing orders with someone from another area.
Once you have built a local profile you can show local press interest to act as a lever with journalists in other national publications.
It depends what you are promoting. Where does your "Specific Audience" hangout online? Try small first - - that is, in not so conspicuous publications or sites just test out your PR strategy. Tweak it before going full blast. But, you should always be very clear as to who your audience is, very specfically.
Deana, from your profile it says you want to create a storybook business. To give you suggestions on a PR strategy, it would be helpful if you'd tell us more. What is your target market and buyer profile? Would you be running this business as a service/in person or would this be a web-based business?
Local coverage definitely helps when looking to expand wider. Not only does it get you noticed but if you then post it to your website, social media, etc., other media can see it online and get a better idea of its newsworthiness.
Good advice in the responses you have already received. Just want to emphasize that it is important to have real news. Attempts to market the marketing don't go well with news outlets as they are seen as nothing but self-serving. Spend time identifying NEWS of interest to the community; Most reporters will appreciate news on job growth, company expansion, organizing community volunteer work , large transactions, etc. Doesn't mean you have to have big scale news, but think about it from a reporters view point. Good luck.
P.S. It helps to write a draft article - it will force you to identify the interesting points in 500 words or less, and some reporters will appreciate it and use it as a starting point for their final submission
Use the local press and still go for the long shot. It is said, "People don't apply for certain jobs because they think they are not qualified. People who get certain jobs believe they can do the job."
It depends what you do and how Newsworthy it is. If what you Are doing is uniqe and different, that is fine. However, and this is the hard part for me to say to you. As a business owner, you are Proud of what you do. However, the world has a lot of "Better Sameness " out there. Be careful of wanting attention and then not having Newsworthy information to share.
Deana, Not in my experience. I'd focus on who you are trying to reach and what you have to offer that they need and, more importantly, want publications, sites and blogs they are interested in. Engage these first...don't just send unsolicited approaches. Start a relationship and then at some point ask if they'd be interested in running an article, guest blog, Q&A etc.
Think about it. If you received a request to publish something on your site/blog from someone you'd never heard of before would you?
Limit the number you approach so you'll actually have the time to create a relationship.
Think WIIFM (later it will be explained).
Yours can become a story-book ending. Sorry, couldn't resist given your passion. You must start at the local level in your town by contacting local Chambers, press, small magazines and local papers.
However, you must craft a story behind the story. Press/media is always interested in a behind the scenes of what is going on and that is what you need to work on.
Calling them, writing to them (preferred) and emailing them and asking them to cover you will not do. You must weave a tale of how you incorporate people's lives, struggles, memories and dreams into what you produce for them. That what you create leaves a lasting legacy while providing value.
Connect with local and nearby crafts stores (Hobby Lobby, etc.) and see where possibilities lie for joint-ventures, craft time training (free), etc. That is what will get you local coverage, then when those a few times and collect all manner of media proof (clippings, record interviews, etc. which you can use on your website of authority marketing purposes.) Look to get interviewed on internet radio based on your niche. Contact producers and tell them you are an expert in 'x' and wish to add value and information to their listening audience. They'll grant you interview as they're always looking for good ones.
Then after that type of media coverage you can move up the ladder from small print coverage to local media (radio), then local TV coverage. During all this you're still in the hunt for wider exposure (county, state, regional and national).
PR and marketing are building blocks that need a solid foundation and that can answer the proverbial old-age question of WIIFM? (What's In It For Me?). That is how media looks at story angles and coverage: What's In It For The Viewing/Listening Audience So That They Will Cover 'The Story', which is YOU and your product.
Blessings and reach out if our agency can help with ideas, etc.
In my opinion many marketers are making mistake by going globally since the start. So, try local approach. It is always easier.