How to get Free Publicity for your Business
After a long day on the job, the last thing you want to see is a story featuring your competitor on the cover of the local newspaper. How can you get the media's attention? What is the 'perfect pitch'? Here are a few ways to grab the local news' (and hopefully some potential customers') attention.
Make some news:
Before you can pitch your news, you have to make some. If you're working on something that is newsworthy, the media will be happy to talk with you. Examples of newsworthy work include community projects such as a playgrounds or parks, historical restoration, or city landmarks.
Now that you have your news, who do you contact? The editor of the local newspaper is the ideal place to start. Explain that you have a project you're working on that is of some importance to the paper's readers. The editor will be able to refer you to the appropriate reporter or section editor.
When you contact the correct individual, tell them about your project and find out how they prefer to receive the further information. They may want to communicate via fax or e-mail. However you correspond, remember to keep it simple. Outline the project in two or three bullet points, always remembering to emphasize the newsworthiness, but most importantly, include thorough contact information—your name, address, address of the project site, phone number and hours you can be reached.
Watch the calendar:
You may not be working on a project that will appeal to the media, but your skills as a contractor may be newsworthy. When summer rolls around, it brings articles about outdoor projects with it. Get in touch with your media contact, and let them know you're available to them as an expert resource if they are planning any home improvement stories. In many cases, media will feature summer project tips and quote a local expert to add authority to their stories. This also applies in the winter, when it comes time to winterize homes and decks.
If you position yourself as an expert and provide sound, applicable advice, the reporter will reference you more than once. Soon, your competition will be coming home to stories featuring you.