Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
Small businesses frequently struggle to find the time to really tell their company’s story to either consumers or media outlets. It can be difficult to even begin the process, and it can also be difficult to maintain that process on a consistent basis. It’s relatively easy to create content for social media platforms as there are plenty of sound bites that are used within companies that can be shared with audiences on social media.
However those sound bites aren’t enough for a business to receive any sort of media coverage. And with media coverage, businesses are able to get third-party credibility, which is incredibly important for small companies. Media coverage is still an essential piece of business growth, just like third-party credibility.
Most of the time these two things go hand in hand. Media coverage and third-party credibility are connected because when someone who’s not connected to a company talks about the business or its products in a positive manner, more people are going to be interested in those products, which leads to more consumers, and therefore business growth.
Aside from creating a media list and figuring out whether a company needs to get local, national, or global media coverage, it’s also important to figure out which moments of the company’s story are relevant for their audience.
As Alexei Orlov of MTM says, “What the story is based on is what determines whether the story will be newsworthy. Not only will the story influence the public relations strategy itself, but it’s also going to determine which media outlets should receive the pitch. The best way to get the attention from outlets is to pitch to the journalists one story per month. Although that may seem like too much, it’s actually even better if the number of stories is more than twelve per year.”
Those storytelling moments can stem from practically anywhere – for instance the way a company was started, the reason the business owner decided to start the company in the first place, the way that the company is connecting to and helping its community, and more.
One of the best ways to receive media coverage is to establish strong relationships with journalists or editors before they receive a pitch. That’s why it’s essential for businesses and business owners to initiate and develop relationships with different people in their industries, whether that’s by communicating with them through social media or while attending events.
When the company and outlet already have an established relationship, it’s easier for the former to create a pitch that caters to the outlet’s needs. If those needs are met, it’s going to be easier for that story to resonate with the audience of the outlet.. And that will make it easier for journalists to talk about the pitched story. Finally, the best way to start those media relationships is through connecting with local journalists and editors on a personal level.