With so many online news sources and TV channels, as well as the print media, there is no shortage of outlets for a good story. In fact, many publications and websites actively seek out people with a story to tell, so if you have something newsworthy that you think people would be interested in, now’s the time to start spreading the word.
If you’re wondering whether you have an appropriate story to tell, ask friends and family, business colleagues, even customers – they may well have ideas about what makes your business newsworthy if you struggle to come up with anything. You might have developed a new piece of technology, received an industry award, maybe created a partnership to promote a charitable cause. Whatever you’ve accomplished in your business, if it’s interesting and there’s a good back story, you’ve got a chance at getting it published. Before you start approaching publishers, write out a succinct summary of your news with the key details and why it should matter to people. Another approach is to ask a press release service like prmarketer.com to write up the story and get it out there for you.
Who to approach
Do some research on suitable outlets for your story – a national news service is not going to be interested in a provincial story unless it is something pretty earth shattering! If you have a browse on the Internet, you’ll get an insight into what kind of stories are picked up and what websites are interested in publishing. You should also consider the different types of media and not restrict yourself to just news services. If you operate in a specialist niche, there are bound to be websites and blogs devoted to the topic. They will often be open to submissions that are relevant and interesting, so have a look at their publishing guidelines to see how they like you to submit your story. In this case, you could see if they would be interested in an expert blog piece for example, rather than – or in addition to – a news story. Local interest items are always well-served in local newspapers and on community websites, and again the publishers may be actively looking for suitable stories.
Building on your success
With both these options, if your story is well-received and you build a rapport with the journalist or website owner, there is a good chance you will be invited to submit again, or even get a regular spot. A news piece that interests readers and gets them talking is a great marketing tool both for the source and for the publisher. You get some valuable publicity, and the publisher has stories that keep readers coming back for more.
Like any form of marketing, the time spent on your research and inquiries needs to be accounted. There may not be a cash cost involved, but your time is valuable, so make sure you calculate the value of the time devoted to the project and review the success of this approach for your business. You might be surprised at how influential an interesting piece can be.