If you need to get media coverage to boost your business, there’s no question that you need a press release. Reporters expect and require one to get their attention. But, before you can compose a news release, you need something far more rudimentary.
Some news stories are obvious: you’ve accomplished something big, received an award or honor, or are launching a new product, program or service.
Yet, those stories are rare for most business owners. So how do you get media coverage the remainder of the time?
To get the visibility, you need to develop a different kind of story. Here are some stories journalist love:
- Tie it into a charity. Hold a fundraiser. Make a donation for each sale of a particular item. Sponsor someone who s doing something unusual for charity. Create a product specifically to sell as a fundraiser. Charity tie-ins are a staple of the news business. Try to find a charity that relates to your business. For example, if you work with primarily women, you could help a charity that helps women get jobs.
- Create a ‘thon’. The media loves marathon events. Think about the media coverage that happens when there’s an event when people have to do something crazy to win: like having to all dance to Elmo’s song continuously to win the latest Elmo doll? Or how about when a radio DJ sleeps in a billboard until the local sports team wins a game? The wackier the better, and a charity tie-in is always good.
- Don’t forget the kids. Kids and puppies not only appeal to most people, but to journalists as well. Bring kids on board to help you make decisions for the day.(This is a standard toy company tactic; they hire some kids as consultants to help pick next year’s toys.) Or have your business go to the dogs. (And you can even tie it into a charity for animal rescue.)
- Be a record breaker. What kind of event can you assemble that features the most people ever doing something? Every year in Seattle, organizers try to break their own record for the most guitarists playing Louie, Louie at one time. Ans every year, the media gleefully covers the event. Then there’s the world’s largest hugging event. That got national and international coverage as well. Think about what you can do? The world s biggest game of charades? The biggest dog walk? Maybe a web site featuring the world s longest poem, with visitors asked to contribute a verse? My pal Susan Baroncini-Moe did this with much success!
- Choose a holiday and celebrate. Think of original ways to celebrate holidays – and it need not be just the typical ones. Share pointers with the media on National Fraud Awareness Day. Have a hot dog eating contest for employees on National Hot Dog Day. Find a holiday that can relate to your business, and show why your joining in to get media coverage.
And bonus: the slowest news time of the year is the last week of December. So hook into those holidays to create some buzz. Want help with that? I am hosting a workshop: Get Holiday Publicity… and more.