When News Works in Your Favour, and How to Utilize it.
There are at least a hundred ways for you and your business to get some free marketing and advertising to get people through your door. One of the easiest ways, is free press! News outlets, particularly community news outlets, are always hunting for a good story. Are you a start up? Do you have something special going on with your business? Is there something truly unique about what you do? Let your local news outlets know!
Stories can sometimes be hard to come by, especially in terms of human interest or even feel good stories. Most media outlets know the importance of these stories. Good media outlets, especially those that are community centric, want to showcase the best and brightest of their areas, locations, or specific interests.
This media opportunity can extend beyond your physical location and be directed more niche as well. Magazines, topical communities, online forums, even blogs centered around material relevant to your business are always looking for content. They need to be constantly producing material, and if any of their core messages line up with your business, there is no reason both parties shouldn’t benefit from a mutually gainful situation. Many blogs will accept a sponsor, or some form of brand ambassadorship to keep their own costs down. Some print media will also offer an exchange of advertising for goods or services you have available.
Grand openings are some of the biggest and most notable instances to involve media. Letting your local outlets in on that information is as easy as providing them a press release with a few basic details in regards to your business, what your event might be, when, and any other relevant details that would need to become public access.
If you are well past your grand opening, often even just a gimmick is enough. Is there something completely radical and different about your business? Is it something you have on display? A favoured menu item, in the case of a hospitality based industry? Do you offer something particularly special and unique to your audience?
Is there a large sale coming up? Is there some way a discount or sale could become a topic of a human interest story? If not, many media outlets will often partner with different companies, and exchange advertising time for a mutually beneficial service. Many businesses have the opportunity to sponsor media this way without ever having money change hands.
Televised news outlets will often mention salon and make up services used on their anchors. Radio stations will do live, on the spot account of some events for their own exposure as well. Anywhere you can partner is a good thing.
Always remember, press can be one of your biggest friends! And it’s important to make them your friends and appear in a positive light, as opposed to have any exchange with them be because of “bad press”.