Do the news media in your area know who your company is? Do you know the reporters, news editor and the person who mans the news desk by name?
Is the answer NO? Have you ever sent them a press release or called the news hotline? If not, then it is time to stand up and get noticed!
Are you and your employees involved in the community?
If your company has a community outreach program, and if your company holds special events to raise money for a charity or a special cause, then you should be notifying the news media, and you should send in a press release.
Maybe you believe the old saying, “You should not toot your own horn.” That is noble, yet not viable in today’s competitive markets. Customers have so many options when it comes to choosing a product or service, so if you are not tooting your own horn, you simply will not be heard.
If your company and its employees are doing great things or if a new product offering is going to solve a problem for thousands, why not shout it from the rooftops? Keep in mind that if there is ever any negative news involving your company or its employees, the media will not hesitate to cover it, so any positive news you can provide will help with reputation management.
With so much doom and gloom in the news, the editors and producers are looking for the next big “feel good” story. It creates a good balance, and lightens the harsh reality of negative news coverage.
If you do not have experience in media relations and are not sure where to start, here are a few tips to get you started:
- When announcing an event, be sure it is well planned and genuine. If you are inviting the press, the last thing you want is to have a poorly run event that looks like a media stunt.
- Make sure the press release covers only one major point, and try to keep it to one page.
- In your contact info, include a cell phone number so they can contact you easily.
- Always follow up with a phone call to make sure the news desk received the press release. It is a big mistake to assume they have it.
- Always provide all the important facts regarding events such as who, what, when, why and where.
- If you are told they are not able to cover your event, do not continue to call the same person. If you have another contact, it is fine to double check with them but never harass the news media! You want them to like dealing with you.
- It is best to notify them of an event only a few days in advance, then follow up the day of the event. If you notify them a month or more in advance, it may get lost in the shuffle.
- Keep in mind that if the President is coming to town, or some other newsworthy event, you may be out of luck. One way to circumvent a conflict is to check online for events and make sure yours is on a different day.
I hope the above tips help you with your quest for publicity. Just remember – the next time your company is holding a special community event, raising money for a charity, or unveiling a hot new product or service, notify the local news media and send the news desk or editor a press release. Your call may be the one they are waiting for!