Small Business Publicity – Making Publicity Last
This is the third installment in our series on the new rules of PR, helping small business owners get the media coverage they deserve for the great work they do.
In recent weeks I’ve blogged here about how to get the media’s attention and, when you do, how to deliver a memorable interview. Hopefully you’ve done the work, and that blog post/magazine cover story/radio interview/TV segment featuring your business is online/in readers’ mailboxes/on the air.
Congratulations — but you’re not done yet. In fact, the most important part of your journey is just beginning. It’s time to use that hard-won media coverage to attract new customers and build your business reputation in the marketplace, ultimately making publicity last and work for you. Here’s how.
1. Thank them. Always thank the reporter or blogger for featuring your business. Send an email, a Twitter DM or even a handwritten thank-you note. Remember, your goal is to lay the groundwork for a lasting relationship.
2. Post and/or host. Ask the journalist if you can post or host the piece on your company’s website. Posting direct links to reputable sites can improve your website’s SEO too! For an article, it would also be a good idea to create and save PDF versions and consider posting the PDFs instead of links to the original article. Hyperlinks can become obsolete eventually. For a video or audio podcast, you could embed it directly on your website. You could even edit it into shorter snippets for use on your website or other marketing materials; just be sure to credit the original source properly. Maximize the use of your coverage.
3. Spread the word. Let everyone know about your 15 minutes of fame by mentioning and linking to the piece in your email newsletter and on social media. Depending on the level of the press mention, it might even be worth doing additional PR. For instance, if your local brewery got featured in a national news story on the craft brewing trend, you could release a press release to the local media—local papers often like to feature “local business makes good” types of stories.
4. Market away. Incorporate media mentions into your marketing materials and your print or online medit kit. For instance, you can create a section on your website that says “Press” and link to all your press mentions there. Your brochures, direct mail, flyers, signage or even your product packaging could say, “As seen on Channel 7 News” or “Featured in USA Today.” Did your restaurant or product get a rave review from an industry expert? Use part of the review as a testimonial: “Best Pizza in New York”—Pizza Today Magazine. Just be sure to quote it accurately. With any luck (and a lot of hard work), you’ll soon have an impressive amount of media coverage to share when promoting your business.
5. Get framed. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, be sure to get print articles or blog posts printed and framed to hang in your store, office or restaurant. It’s old-fashioned, but it really works wonders to build your reputation.
6. Name drop. Use your previous coverage to clinch more coverage. Publicity is like money: the more you have, the faster it multiplies. Journalists and bloggers like interviewing credible, media-savvy people. When they see that you’ve been featured elsewhere, it proves your business is newsworthy and you’re a good interview.
7. Go back to the well. Ever notice that the same sources often get quoted a lot by the same reporters or bloggers? That’s because they’ve worked to become valuable resources for those journalists. There’s no rule that says you can’t pitch the same person multiple times—in fact, just the opposite is true. Reminding the person of their initial interview with you will make them more likely to turn to you as a trusted source again…and again.
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