One of the best ways for your business to grab a blogger or journalist’s attention is to position yourself as the voice of a timely and newsworthy subject.
When I was reporting on air, someone in public relations contacted me about his client, a company cleaning linens for hotels and restaurants. Grabbing airtime for such a business might seem difficult. But the PR person didn’t try to sell me on the virtues of washing hotel bed sheets and restaurant table clothes. He explained the company was converting its factory to meet “green” guidelines, with the goal of saving both the business and city tons of water during the washing process. Finding reporters who want to tell important stories about the environment is less difficult than finding ones to discuss linens.
Sometimes your business must position itself as a voice on an indirectly related news event or trend. Let’s say you own a small music store selling old records. The world’s every day news events do not include much about old records. But you know the number of old albums still selling in today’s digital world would really surprise those outside your industry. Many people still like the pops and crackles of vinyl and that’s why your register keeps ringing. You don’t contact music bloggers and feature reporters and argue they cover your store’s 30 years in business. You alert them to a little known trend, invite them over and provide an easy interview.
Finding your news story may not always seem easy. But you should always be thinking of one. Follow the news, especially breaking stories when journalists are desperate for quick, local experts on a topic. Keep track of what people are discussing on social media. What are the most popular issues? Stay on top of the latest trends in your industry. More often than you realize, you will find an important event or issue you can speak on. You must be willing to discuss your industry as a whole instead of just talking about your company.
Publicizing your knowledge on a topic is a great, indirect way of publicizing your business.