How Anyone Can Get The Local Media To Promote Their Business - 100% Free Publicity
Imagine for a moment, you wake up one morning to full page article from the local newspaper boasting all about you and your business. Can you see it? Their telling everyone is town about what makes you better than your competitors, how to contact you, and better yet, you’re not paying for any of it. This kind of marketing exposure and free publicity is much easier to obtain and under-leveraged by the vast majority of businesses.
Ask your sales team for their opinion on beating the streets and pounding the telephone and you’ll no doubt find they despise it. The infuriating thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way, that is if you capitalize on the wonderful resources of free marketing, and especially ones that generate lots of calls from serious buyers.
WHY IT’S SO EASY: What you may not realize is that you’re not the only one working hard to find leads. Reporters and journalist are having the same problem, and that is that they need something to write about. You have the ability to make it easy on them, and today we’ll show you how to do it and how to reap the benefits for your business. It is, to say the least, a misconception that getting the media to write and/or talk about you is hard to do, or that it’s only for the big shots.
The reality is that local reporters and journalist are constantly in need of something good to write about, and YOU are it. You just didn’t know it.
In almost every city there is local neighborhood newspaper or “Business Journal” of sorts. In fact you can find a list of the several local business journals here. I have personally used the technique that I’m about to describe and was printed on the front page, inside the paper, and online. As for the leads, well let’s just say it overwhelming.
A good starting point is to access to all the local journals each day/week and search for articles that are relevant to your industry and then take down the name of the reporter. At some point you’re going to reach out to them to discuss your request, and while an email or phone call may be all you need, I’d recommend that you offer to buy them lunch or a cup of coffee. They may or may not take you up on it, but they’ll be far more inclined to hear you out with this approach.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s probably no shortage of people trying to do the same thing, but it’s your strategy that will make all the difference in the world. Yes, you need to be creative, and separate yourself from all the con artist looking for their 1 day of fame or hyping to promote some scam or worthless propaganda.
The best approach is to be impartial, and talk about a topic of interest in your field of expertise, offering to provide them with a case study or some type of information that REALLY is beneficial to their audience. Yes, you can talk about your product or service providing that it is unique and has a value that people sincerely want and should know about. Understand that the reporter is not interested in running an advertisement for you (even though indirectly this is free advertising), so you’ll need to come up with an ingenious way to make it newsworthy and serve as an interesting story to tell their readers.
Let’s look at a real example of how others have used this approach. In 2007 there was a small start-up marketing company that launched an online website to sell creative, non-traditional advertising to small and/or struggling local businesses. Their plan was different. It was unique. It was something small businesses would care about and it would be an interesting read for both consumers and business owners. Their plan was to give small businesses advertising with no out of pocket cost, or for lack of a better term it was ‘performance based marketing’. The company structured a deal whereas for every time they generated a paying customer then the marketing company would get a substantial fee, but on the flip side if they failed to produce a customer they got squat. This business model has been so successful that we now see it today with popular websites like Restaurant.com, LivingSocial.com, and Groupon.com.
In 2015 a local answering service used their existing model to create a story that would go viral and get massive media coverage. They decided to dedicate a couple of days during Christmas time to having their agents answer the phone portraying one of Santa’s elves and Kris Kringle himself. Media groups from everywhere pricked up the story and it turned into an incredible marketing plan, not to mention reputation management solution. You can read their article here.
You don’t need to be a multi-million dollar company to get free publicity. You just need a story, and preferably one that’s unique and interesting.
Alternatively you can run a press release which most newspapers will gladly run both in print and online. This can be a simple new product announcement or service launch. Understand, this is easily done and will yield amazing results, especially if you find your story. If, however, you’re not sure how to write a press release you can always hire a public relations expert, but truthfully most people can figure it out with a little bit of research.
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