3 Ways to Get Free Publicity and Media Mentions for Your Business
by Deborah Geiger CEO of Geiger Communications Inc
Regardless of your title, industry or territory, most of us could use more positive exposure. Getting media mentions builds credibility, increases your favorable exposure online and adds extra luster to your brand. Who wouldn’t want these benefits?
For those seeking more visibility and exposure, there are three simple, surefire ways to secure coverage that will elevate you above the competition:
1. Write an article
Writing an article is a great way for an entrepreneur to demonstrate expertise while also keeping in control of the message. The article topic could pertain to an industry trend or news story, share a how-to approach, or discuss a fresh perspective on a problem. Take a cue from major bestsellers and employ grandiose, attention-getting titles like Think and Grow Rich, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and The Five Love Languages — and be sure to deliver the information and insights that can help your audience. Think of your piece as a solution to a burning problem. It could also clarify a major misconception, or provide a futuristic outlook on the industry. Your article should be informative, factual, and include relevant statistics and lively examples. Conclude with takeaways for the reader.
2. Be an expert source
Being an expert source is a win-win: you help a journalist while also showcasing your knowledge and insights in your field, in the form of being quoted. For stories on major current events, news germane to your industry and other topics like business best practices, journalists seek sources to provide commentary to add dimension to their articles. Being a source will increase awareness of you and your company. Define what expertise you have — whether it’s entrepreneurship, real estate development or debt relief — and contact relevant journalists who write about this topic to offer your comments. Always aim to be helpful, informative and never pushy. Sign yourself up as a source on expert sites like HARO (Help a Reporter Out).
3. Get your company featured
Whether you run a corporation, small business, or solo practice, we all want to stand out against the competition as the superior option. What makes your company different could be your story, a unique aspect of your service, or a novel product. For example, I worked with a Christmas company whose owner had converted religions because he was so smitten with the Christmas holiday. Even if you don’t think your background is noteworthy, most entrepreneurs have a great story to tell. Local print and online news outlets who publish resident and business profiles are a great place to start to share what's new and interesting about your firm. Have ready any memorable customer stories or cases to demonstrate the value you are bringing.
Important note: Unless you are working directly with a publication for inclusion in sponsored or native content, NEVER pay a third party or writer to be included in an editorial article. This is against most reputable publications' policies, and your mention — and money — will disappear.
The power of positive media mentions
The need for positive exposure in an increasingly saturated marketplace has never been stronger.
With a little creativity and effort, you may use these tactics to spark journalist interest, earn positive media coverage and increase visibility amongst the public, prospective clients, investors and other target audiences. For those who are short on time, a public relations professional can do the heavy lifting to position you as an expert, secure top-tier opportunities on your behalf, and even create effective talking points so you know exactly what to say and do in a media interview. Building awareness of your brand and establishing yourself as an expert in the public eye is a powerful way to support business development, improve sales and ensure long-term success.