Whether or not your startup has achieved a prominent place in the market, it’s never a bad idea to have a few marketing hacks up your sleeves. And when it comes to marketing hacks for startups, getting featured in local news is undoubtedly one of the best ways to boost your brand image.
Although more than 40% of small scale businesses majorly rely on social media marketing to drive revenue, it often ends up eating away a significant portion of their profits. On average, startup owners spend around $2,500 on online advertising every month.
Getting press coverage for your business is not only a much cheaper way to go about marketing your products, but it is also highly effective in maximizing sales revenue. This is because despite living in the age of digitalization, many customers still prefer reading newspapers to stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
So, if you want to maximize your outreach, it’s best to learn how to get press coverage for your small business.
Here are the top tips for getting featured in local news:
1. Develop a Proactive PR Strategy
Mastering the art of pitching ideas is essential for getting mentioned in local publications.
The easiest way to go about this is to look for trends in your specific niche, and find something that others can tie into or speak on. For instance, if you are a single mom, balancing work and family life can be a strong selling point for earning a place in various top-notch publications.
Similarly, you can highlight diversity in your workplace, or how your company connects people with different backgrounds to work together towards a common goal.
2. Stay Active on Twitter
Engaging on Twitter is not just a great strategy for social media marketing, but it is also an incredible way to increase your chances of getting press coverage for your business.
Reporters often rely on Twitter when previewing the stories that they are working on. So engaging with renowned entities on Twitter can help you become a part of the story.
Make sure to follow reporters on this social media site as well. Respond to their queries and other tweets related to your niche.
3. Make It Interesting
Let’s be honest. Not every business is interesting.
You might be running a consultancy firm for legal matters, or perhaps managing a home cleaning service. If the goods or services that you offer aren’t particularly newsworthy on their own, shift the focus to something else that is.
Takes notes from Jens Jakob Andersen, the CEO, and founder of RunRepeat. RunRepeat is a review aggregator site, pretty much like IMDb and TripAdvisor. The only difference is that RunRepeat is meant for recommendations on sneakers and other types of running shoes
When Andersen launched the business, needless to say, no journalist was willing to cover a review-based website for shoes as their ‘big story.’
So, using the information gathered from product reviews and ratings on his site, he came forward with a claim that cheap running shoes are actually better than the expensive alternatives.
The media loved the idea presented, and in less than 24 hours, Andersen’s study was featured in more than 30 publications, including the Washington Post.
In simple words, if your product isn’t that interesting, don’t mention it at all. Promote some other idea instead, to call attention to your brand in an indirect way.
4. Try Your Hand at Hacking News
You might be fantasizing about breaking into the computers of the editorial staff and publishing your story, but did you know you can ‘hack’ news in a way that’s safe and acceptable?
Find the best performing stories (they do not necessarily have to be related to your niche), and think of ways in which you can leverage them for your business.
It requires critical thinking and a little bit of creativity. But if you can use interesting stories published recently as the foundation for promoting your own goods and services, you can easily raise brand awareness in no time.
5. Use Free Services for Getting Press Coverage
This is one of the most beneficial marketing hacks for startups that many business owners tend to overlook.
A terrific technique to get press coverage is to use online platforms specifically designed for this purpose. These platforms bridge the gap between journalists and businesses that are looking for opportunities to become more prominent in the public eye.
For example, to get started, you can use services like HARO and SourceBottle. All you need to do is register on the online portal. Keep a strict check on your inbox, where you will receive source requests relevant to your industry and personal expertise.
If you answer piques the interest of the reporter, you can easily get featured in the next publication.
6. Serve the Local Community
What if you can create brand awareness and help the local community in one go?
In case you haven’t already noticed, many small and large scale businesses tap into the power of getting press coverage simply by doing something for social welfare.
Offer your product or service to the underprivileged members of the society for free. Alternatively, you can distribute other essentials like food and clothes amongst the homeless. Or focus on topics like climate change as they are global issues that always get an instant reaction.
You can launch a tree-planting campaign or start a clean drive in the local neighborhood. Not only will this help your business get noticed more quickly, but also build a positive brand image and attract loyal customers.
When it comes to learning the top tips on how to get press coverage for your small business, the key to remember is that journalism is a business too. While you think of ways to bring your goods and services in the public eye, also focus on addressing the challenges that journalists and reporters normally face in publishing stories that deserve massive attention. This will automatically help overcome the obstacles for your company in improving PR by getting featured in stories that sell like hotcakes.