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Getting Media Coverage is Easy – When You Know How
By: Sue Papadoulis, Publicity For Profit
News flash: All businesses have something that is of interest to the media!
Many business owners believe that in order to get a story about their business published or broadcast in the media they must have done something special, or they must be the biggest and best in their industry.
Some people are just intimidated at the thought of appearing in a newspaper or being promoted on a TV show like Today Tonight or A Current Affair. They also commonly believe that getting into the media costs money – either by having to spend on advertising, or by hiring an expensive PR firm. The reality is that every business is the keeper of some great stories that the media would love.
It is simply a case of accessing some insider journalist secrets and being open to the idea that your business could skyrocket as a result of some well-placed free promotion in the guise of a news story. The majority of the stories in a newspaper are simply interesting pieces of information that their audience will find useful. There are always the big news stories of the day, such as a natural disaster, political issues or court cases, but approximately 40 to 50 per cent of a capital city daily newspaper is devoted to stories which result from a press release.
This is even more so the case in light of the recent cut costing and job losses at Fairfax and News Ltd. With fewer journalists available to create the same amount of content, they will be less proactive in finding stories, and more reactive to press releases sent to them. Each day there are hundreds of stories appearing in the media that have resulted from press releases.
So, what do you put into a press release?
The first step is to realise that the process of getting free publicity is not about you at all – it’s about the audience of the newspaper or magazine you are targeting.
Many business owners think they need to make some kind of announcement in a press release. In fact, making an announcement of any kind should be avoided when writing a press release.
Announcements, such as moving to a new office, or hiring a new employee or launching a new web site are not interesting to many people beyond the business owner, their employees and family.
The process of getting published comes down to understanding the following:
You already possess a huge amount of interesting and useful information which is of interest to the media.
You already know exactly the kinds of information their customers find useful and are seeking.
If customers find it useful, then so will others just like them.
Newspapers and magazines love to run stories that their audience likes to read and will help solve problems, therefore a business’s interesting information can easily be turned into a news story, as long as it is relevant to the target audience.
Package your interesting information into a well-crafted press release and it's not so difficult to get published in a newspaper or magazine, or broadcast on TV and radio.