When it comes to generating ideas to market your small business, sometimes, it is better to look at free opportunities that are out there for the taking. Many small businesses overlook the opportunity to generate publicity, but if you are looking for inexpensive marketing ideas, you must include public relations and publicity in your marketing strategy. Publicity is not advertising. Advertising is when you pay to run your ad and tout your products and services. Publicity is when the media talks about you and it doesn’t cost you a cent. As well, the value of someone else talking about you is so much more powerful than you talking about yourself. Here are three tips so you can increase your exposure and build your business by seeking out publicity.
1. Do your homework. Read your daily newspaper and watch the local news. Pay attention to the types of stories being written and look for opportunities to share your story. Know who the writers and reporters are and get a feel for the flavor of content they create. If you aren’t familiar with your local media, start to keep a daily log of feature stories to find trends. Start a journal of all of the media schedules and available publications. You should be subscribing to everything in your market so you can look for opportunities for publicity.
2. Be newsworthy. If you are doing the same thing that everyone else is, you will probably not be landing any feature stories. Take a look at everything within your business to identify what you are doing that is worth others talking about. If you realize you aren’t doing anything newsworthy, push yourself to come up with something nobody else is doing. Maybe it is an unbelievable product or the way you service your clients. Newsworthy is a subjective concept but without doing something more unique than others, you have no chance.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask. Once you have a good understanding of your local media and you have a product or service that you think will make a great story, pick up the phone and pitch. I know it sounds scary but literally, pick up the phone and be prepared to tell the reporter what your product or service does to benefit his or her audience. In this economic downturn, reporters are being squeezed to do more with less time so you are doing them a favor if you can serve them a great story idea on a platter. You may be turned down often but don’t let that deter you from trying again. Eventually, you will land free publicity and your business will benefit from the exposure and buzz.
If you want to learn in detail how to make the pitch and generate thousands in free publicity for your business, check out CD #6 of Meaty Marketing. Also, be sure to subscribe to our blog so you can get small business marketing ideas, thoughts and strategies about 5 days a week.