News media is a powerful tool and journalists can be intimidating — there’s no denying that. But they can also be the reason why your company becomes the model franchise of your industry and the business your competitors strive to be.
Having a structured business plan, hiring the right personnel, and investing in advertising and a quality website are all essential to growing a top tier business. But you can’t tell me having your business cited in Forbes or New York Magazine isn’t enticing.
Yes, if not careful with your words, journalists can spin a story in more ways than one. But if you tell your story right, there’s no telling how far your business can go.
Journalists can be the ones to tell your story, who can refer you to more people than you can imagine, and who can rave about you on the internet; most of the time for free. That’s what a strong public relations strategy can do.
It might not get you immediate results but with consistent and tenacious efforts, your brand can be featured in different news and media outlets, and your company’s sales will grow — just like its reputation.
Business owners, it’s time to stop shying away from journalists and time to get some media coverage.
So, enough chit-chat — here are the reasons why you should be working to get your brand in the news and how you can do so without hindering its reputation.
You’re an expert — be one
What makes a story credible? No, what makes anything credible? Sources! As an expert, you can be what makes a story trustworthy. There are thousands of journalists around the world who need your insight, and in the process of helping them, you’ll spread your brand’s name.
If you had the passion and capability to start your own business, you probably know what you’re talking about. If you consider yourself an expert — don’t be afraid to be one. Spread your knowledge and share your opinions. People who share the same passion for your industry as you will want to hear your insight. Sharing your expertise adds credibility to your name and builds a strong reputation for your brand. You don’t need a big TV spotlight, or an entire article dedicated to your life story— sharing a simple tip here and there can be just the right stepping stones you need to build your brand’s foundation.
Readers are your sales leads
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Yeah, that isn’t entirely true. As previously mentioned, some news coverage can backfire if you don’t tell your story properly. But if done right, readers can be drawn to your brand.
Say you’re in the market for a new internet service provider and come across an article on the top tips for securing fast and reliable internet. If you happen to be drawn to one of the tips suggested, that source might just become your next internet service provider.
YOU can be that provider!
Even if it doesn’t turn into a sale, the bare minimum you’ll have done is provide a general and useful tip for your target audience. Not to mention the possibility of a reader recommending your services to someone else sometime down the road — that’s what I call effective PR.
Being a source helps you acquire backlinks
In this day and age, it’s critical that your website has a high ranking on Google if you want to grow your business. An essential part of doing so is acquiring backlinks. Lots of them.
Unfamiliar with backlinks? They’re essentially links that have been placed on other sites that redirect readers to your website. These backlinks are often placed by journalists when referencing you in their article. If readers want to know more about your business, they can simply click on the link bringing them to your site (and just like that, you might have another sales lead). Of course, this is just one example of link building. If you want to learn more about backlinks, check out this article!
To recap: backlinks help your Google rankings, they provide you with more sales leads, and they drive traffic to your website.
Sounds pretty rewarding for doing something seemingly natural, doesn’t it?
The power of syndication
Even though brands and business owners should never include it as a part of their marketing plan, having one of your pieces of content go viral can happen. It’s rare, but it’s possible.
Now, let’s be real for a second — having your content go viral is unlikely. But the likelihood of an article you were mentioned in being syndicated into dozens of more articles is very possible!
Many news outlets have what are called “syndication agreements” with other news outlets. When this happens, blogs and news sites can republish articles that weren’t originally written for their site. Depending on the original news outlet, the article you were mentioned in can end up being published in dozens of other outlets, catching the attention of thousands of more readers. It’s not a strategy you should plan for, but it’s certainly one you can hope for.
I said it once, and I’ll say it again: when you tell your story to one journalist, there’s no telling how far your story can spread.
But how can you do so without hurting your brand’s reputation?
The right way to tell your brand’s story
Storytelling is an art form; some people just know how to make a story exciting — even when there’s nothing to tell. And there are others who can butcher a great story entirely. You know, the classic “you had to be there” line when no one is as thrilled or amused as they should be. Let’s face it, it happens to most of us.
If you’re not a storyteller, don’t try and be one.
If you do, you still might get lucky and get the exposure you were hoping for. But it’s more likely that your story will simply turn out to be uninteresting, or worse, end up unnoticed.
To prevent this, trust the people made to do it. Public relations specialists can contact journalists on your behalf. They know which news outlets can best fit your brand and that will best reach the audience you want to attract. PR specialists have built relationships with journalists who can share your story — the way you want it to be told.
It’s your business and your brand. If you want people to know about it, let them hear it.