Your business: front and center in the newspaper, feature, on prime-time TV or out there where everyone can see you. It’s what dreams are made of.
Media coverage can make or break a business, but landing any bit of coverage is the hard part. From this list of 21 free or low-cost ideas to get featured, concentrate on two or three that fit your business and your personality and go after them with everything you have.
21 Ways to get Featured in the Media
1. Do Something Remarkable
It goes without saying that remarkable businesses are the ones that get featured every day. They’re on the edge doing amazing things that people want to talk about. Don’t follow the rules if you want to be remarkable. Do your own thing, but be prepared to deal with the consequences.
2. Build Relationships with the Media
You wouldn’t like it if someone you didn’t know asked you to give something to them. Build a relationship by following media people on twitter and Facebook. Comment on their stories, get to know them and invite them to coffee. It’s important to work with a communications agency in order to build these relationships.
Is it really that easy? I’m afraid it is. If you know a reporter and have a good idea, ask them to run it.
4. Highlight a Story About Someone Else
My business landed on the front page of our newspaper a few years ago because I highlighted a story about a family I was working with. Self-promotion never makes a good story.
5. Send a Press Release
Press releases are old school but they’re still great ways to announce events and changes within your company. A press release was submitted for an event I lead and it landed me on the front page of our local newspaper.
6. Take a Reporter to Lunch
Every day journalists need to take in information. Take a few to lunch every month and ask them what type of stories they’re looking for. Don’t forget to buy their lunch.
7. Buy Your Way In
For two years I hosted a radio show on a local station. How’d I get in? I bought a full hour and sold commercial breaks. I created my own stories, ran whatever I wanted, and made money from the advertising.
8. Work With a Charity
Two years ago I hosted a few online events and donated 100% of the proceeds to a charity. The media picked up on it because it was a great cause.
9. Host an Event
Events are noteworthy and media loves to talk about them. Create a remarkable event by bringing influential people together and not charging for it.
10. Work with a Celebrity
Celebrities have been known to endorse products when they get them free, which carries a lot of weight. You don’t need Britney Spears but do find someone your target market identifies with.
11. Tell a Story
If you don’t have a story, people won’t care. Make it emotional and reporters will come running.
12. Start Small with Local Outlets
If you’re just starting out, CNN shouldn’t be your target. Start with media outlets in your town, even if it’s small, and leverage the promotion you get for bigger things.
13. Help a Reporter
Join HARO for free and you’ll be notified a few times a day when reporters need help with a story.
14. Create a Press Kit
Along with your About page, media people are looking for press kits on your website.
15. Hire a Publicist
Publicists know media and good publicists have contacts around the world. Don’t hire a mediocre publicists; find one with connections.
16. Sponsor an Event
Event promoters are great about getting press. When you sponsor an event you get to go along for the ride.
17. Personalize Your Pitch
No one like a “Dear Sir:”. After you find out what type of stories a reporter likes make your pitch personal to them.
18. Comment on Blogs
I’ve seen journalists mention people who have commented on blog posts in stories. A friend of mine even ended up on CNN by simply commenting on a post they made.
19. Be Helpful
Some journalists like to ask questions online. Follow them and respond when you can. I’ve been highlighted in Success Magazine this way.
20. Become an Expert
You’re an expert if you know more than someone else. If you’re in business you should be an expert, so proclaim it from the rooftops. Chris Brogan is an expert at social media and he’s told everyone. As a result he writes monthly for Entrepreneur magazine.
21. Pitch to the Right Outlet
You won’t even hear a response if you pitch that wrong story to an outlet. Learn the type of stories they like to run and only pitch those.