Want to get local media coverage for your small business but not sure where to start? In this presentation we give you all the steps you need to start getting local radio, TV, and newspaper coverage for your business.
Do you have a retail
shop, restaurant, or offer services to a local community? Your business can benefit from local news coverage. The following guide will help you target the right people to get meaningful, local news coverage, which will move sales.
Local “Interest Based” Media Coverage
To continue with the restaurant theme, this group would include food blogs that cover local restaurants or perhaps sites that cover local weddings (if your business conducts events). 2)
How to Find Local Newspapers
While you probably know the local daily newspaper(s), you may not be familiar with all the weekly papers, the college newspapers, or small neighborhood papers.
A good starting point is
the the NYPL that lists newspapers by state and city. In putting together your list of newspapers, try to include newspapers that cover your city, county, an adjacent city or county, or your state as a whole.
How to Find Local Radio
Stations The signal of a powerful radio station will carry across the county or even state lines.
There are 14,728 radio stations
in the United States (as of 2011). Chances are there are dozens of stations whose signals reach your area. Radio Locator will identify which signals reach your area by zip code, where the signal originates, the format of the radio station, and in many cases, contact information.
How To Find Local Online
WebsitesThe biggest online network of local coverage is AOL’s Patch Network with individual websites for several hundred neighborhoods and cities.
For local business coverage, Business
Journals have unique coverage of about 20 different major urban areas. To find additional local websites in your area, do a Google search with the name of your area and the words “news”, “blog”, or “event calendar”.
Target the Right People Depending
on the size of the newspaper, there might be up to four or five people to target with a story about your business. You can target reporters from different sections, as well as their editors. How to at the Right Media Places
•Your top goal would be
to get a review of your restaurant. •The paper might have a recipe section that you would want to contribute. •There might be an opportunity to pitch stories about foods that are in season. Food Critic and/or Editor of the Food/Dining Section1)
•Are you participating in a
fair, charity event, or hosting an event open to all? If the paper has a calendar, you want to get the event listed. But more importantly, you want to be part of the paper’s coverage of the event. Entertainment/Cultural Events Reporter or Section Editor2)
•Has your business done something
newsworthy or interesting? •Have sales increased because you changed the menu, like offering family size portions to help large families save money when going out? Business Reporter (this may not apply to restaurants as much as other businesses)3)
Radio and TV Stations Can
Work Differently Than a Newspaper In some radio and TV stations, each program may have editorial freedom.
by a combination of the
on-air personalities or the show’s producer. If the show is large enough, it may have a booker who specializes in obtaining guests. When going after TV coverage and radio coverage, target specific shows or even segments. With radio and television programs, I would focus on targeting producers and bookers. Which guests are interviewed may be determined
There are a couple ways
in which you can structure your advertising in order to get editorial coverage. Specifically, if you are a good advertiser, they will “remote” from your place of business. During the show, the guests will often comment about how they are broadcasting from your place. Killer Radio Tip For Restaurants
While press releases have their
place, they are not the key to getting local press coverage. In fact, I think drafting a general press release can distract a business owner from developing individualized pitches for their media targets. Hint It’s Not Press Releases How to Pitch to Get Media Coverage:
So, even being conservative, the
newsroom at The Lincolnite can receive upwards of 500–600 press releases per day. And now here’s the killer bit. The Lincolnite aims to publish around 15 stories per day. Or a few more if it’s an exceptional news day. So if you’re sending them a press release, you’ve got a one in 40 chance of getting it published on The Lincolnite. ! Paul Kirby What are the chances of your press release being picked up by a regional news website?
What Should Your Email Contain?
Which do you think has a better chance of being read by a journalist or producer; one of the hundreds of press releases sent to them or a personalized e-mail?
First,it’s important that you establish
this is not a form email; the email is specifically written for the recipient. This can be done by using the name of their show in the subject line of the email, using their name in the greeting, and referencing a recent story they have covered.
Let’s say that you want
them to review your restaurant. You might make the following types of pitches: 1) We are new - you have the chance to do the first review. 2) We are special - we are the only (type of cuisine) place in this (neighborhood). Also, this has many variations as well. 3) We are popular - find out why we are the most popular (cuisine) in (neighborhood).
An Email is Not Enough
Getting a reporter to cover you is like selling to a major client. It will usually require follow-up, persistence, and a positive attitude. ! If they respond to your first email consider yourself lucky. If they do not respond, wait a week and then follow- up with a phone call and another email.
Ask What They Want Great
public relations professionals always ask what I would like to discuss before I conduct the interview. This helps both the interviewer and the subject of interview, as the answers are likely to be higher quality and more detailed.
Do a Walk Through As
the expression goes, “practice makes perfect”. If you’re doing an interview, write down the question that you expect to be asked and role play the interview with a colleague or friend. In the example of the restaurant, you might want your best waiter and busboy to take care of a critic’s table. Making sure everyone knows their role in advance prevents snafus.
Make it Visually or Musically
Appealing You want to make sure that there are great visuals for stories that appear online, in a newspaper, or on TV. With online stories, you want to provide a number of high quality photos of your storefront and customers using your products for them to insert into the story. With radio, you want to provide a musical or sound background.
Despite what Donald Trumps says,
there is such a thing as bad publicity. Point 1 Donald Trump once famously remarked that there is no such thing as bad publicity. In his mind, the goal is to get attention.
bad publicity is generally far
worse than no publicity. The responses of a small company to negative publicity are less likely to get coverage, leaving the public only hearing the negative. For small businesses,
The first rule of thumb
When dealing with reporters or media types is to look at the stories that they write. If they tend to do “feel good” human interest stories, chances are the publicity will be good.
Not all publicity leads to
sales. Point 2 When thinking about where to target, it’s important to consider who will be reading the article (or watching the video).
Example: Where I live, there
is an annual “Taste of 5th Avenue”, where local restaurants provide samples of their food. Local reporters tend to attend the event, talk to people, and take a few pictures.
Example: If you had a
choice, which would you prefer to have: a picture of the reporter eating your specialty dish, with a caption that mentions your restaurant? Or a quote in the paper about the event?
A picture of your beautiful
looking dish may elicit the response like “That looks good!”, and serve as a catalyst for new people trying your restaurant. A quote about the event will not have the same impact. The answer is the picture.