How To Get Press As A Start-up
As an entrepreneur you may be well aware of the benefits that your company can offer to clients – but are your potential customers in the loop?
One of the most cost effective ways of getting the word out is to generate press coverage for your business - in print publications, online and through the broadcast media. However, editorial slots in any of these media are hard to come by, so it is important to implement a press strategy to make the most of any available opportunities.
Business owners have two choices when it comes to generating press coverage – they can decide to employ a public relations professional or can go it alone and decide to do their own press in house.
Employing a PR Consultant to Promote Your Startup
For those who are not well versed in the way the media works, employing a PR professional can take a lot of the strain out of publicising a business in the press. In much the same way as a PAYE payment company can take responsibility for payroll issues out of the hands of the business owner, a PR firm will be able to create and manage an effective public relations strategy for an enterprise.
PR professionals will have a great set of media contacts and will be able to channel information about your company to those outlets most likely to pick it up and run with it. They are also well aware of what editors and journalists will find “newsworthy” (interesting and relevant enough to be featured in their broadcasts or publications)
Tips on Conducting Your Own PR Campaigns
If you do not have the inclination (or budget) to employ a professional , then never fear, because there are a number of simple steps that you can take to catch the eye of the press and try and secure some free advertising. Things that business owners carrying out their own press and public relations work may wish to consider include:
Writing and distributing topical press releases within your industry. Press releases must be relevant and not overly promotional. The key to getting a press release picked up by the media is to make your company only a small part of the story.
Consider holding an event to raise money for a popular local charity and inviting the local press to cover your efforts, or issue an expert comment on a story that is already getting a lot of coverage. Press releases can be sent directly to newsdesks of relevant publications, or you may wish to use an online press release distribution service who will forward uploaded information onto relevant media as well as making it searchable online.
Building a relationship with the relevant journalists. Contacts are a journalist’s lifeblood, so if you, as a business owner, get a reputation as a helpful contact, they are much more likely to consider featuring your business in their work.
Join networking groups for your area or your field and seek out members of the press – introduce yourself and share interesting information, don’t give them a sales pitch on your own product or service. Once you know who the key players are be sure to stay in touch.