Publicising the products and services that your business offers is a huge part of the marketing and advertising strategies of any start up company, regardless of niche or target audience. Building relationships with journalists online and at magazines, newspapers and radio stations will give your company a huge advantage over competitors but where do you start when developing these fruitful partnerships?
Build Targeted Relationships
When getting your business the publicity it needs in the local and regional media, it is important to approach journalists and other representatives from sources that are of interest to your core demographic. After all there is no point in advertising your accounting firm in a fashion magazine!
Read the publications you have in mind thoroughly to understand whether it is the right avenue to promote your products or services. Also, do your research in terms of the journalists you will be working with to find out what they cover and whether you can provide news updates that they will be interested in to prevent you wasting your time with unrelated topics.
Get Straight to the Point
When it comes to pitching your story it is important to take a clear and concise approach. Always ask what the publication’s deadline is to ensure your coverage fits with their timescales, then provide a brief, sharp yet engaging summary to interest them. If they are interested, they will contact you for more details.
Give Them What They Need
When a journalist or press representative does approach you for further information it is important that you deliver the goods and become a reliable and informative source for this story and all future correspondence. This will ensure you are a vital point of contact for additional involvement such as commentary, which is another great way to get your company some additional column inches. Understanding their needs and helping them do a better job are fundamental parts of building and maintaining relationships with local and regional representatives for years to come.
Walk the Line
So what if you have pitched a story and are yet to hear anything back from the journalist? Remember journalists are very busy people and are always working under pressure and to extremely stringent deadlines. This may mean that stories and pitches slip through the net from time to time, and there is no harm in following up a pitch. However, it is vital that you take a balanced approach if you intend to let your mutually beneficial relationship to flourish. Be persuasive and polite, instead of pushy and intrusive to keep journalists from your target publications on side.
Stay in Touch
Keeping in touch with certain press representatives in the weeks, months and years after your initial contact is especially important, and this is easy to do these days thanks to social media. Use platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to connect and interact with your press contacts as well as interacting via email and phone.
Brittany Thorley, is a consultant for Forsyth Business Centres, and find out how you can develop relationships with local and regional press representatives to get your start up business the publicity it deserves