A boost to the public profile of your business is something you can use no matter how popular you are or how long you have been around. When you are getting more press, you are:
- increasing your brand credibility and awareness
- creating opportunities for backlinking
- increasing your social media follows and website traffic
- creating an additional way to drive sales
However, to get more press, you must develop an effective strategy. There are five primary methods to consider as you are working on your strategy. Once you know what these are, and you fully understand the nuts and bolts, it will be much easier to start putting them into practice. The good news is that working with these methods is not difficult. It just takes persistence and reworking to tailor them to your brand’s specific focus and needs.
Create a Story That is Far More Interesting for Consumers
It is important that consumers can connect to your business, so you want to get personal with them. Do not be shy about telling stories, but make sure that your stories are going to be able to get people’s attention. Think about what matters to your target audience and readers and start there. People want to learn something or be able to relate in order to remain interested. Keep the following in mind when working on this step:
How and why did you start your business? Is there something cool or interesting that caused you to think about the idea? These are questions that you have to answer. For example, if you started a taco stand because you like tacos, this is not interesting. Now, if you started a taco stand because your grandfather loved tacos and always wanted to share them, this could be interesting. Tell people about your grandfather and how you enjoyed them together. Tell them that you are essentially continuing his legacy with your taco stand. People can relate to this.
It is often said that if you are earning an income from your passion, it never feels like work and this is true. However, it is important that you properly relay your passion to the public. Loving something is not enough. Tell them the backstory concerning why you are so passionate. For example, you have a background working with startups and you want to show the world more about the different types of cryptocurrency.
How you are different from your competition
No matter your business, there are a dozen others that are similar. You need to make it abundantly clear how you are different from the rest. For example, an ICO is already somewhat unique for getting capital, but many people are not familiar with it, so tell them why it is different and good for startup ventures.
What does your customer base think about you? Is there something specific that they love? You want to bring this to the surface and use it to attract the press and more customers or clients.
How you have changed the world
Every business has the potential to change the world. Are you doing something related to this? For example, you can send three percent of sales for a specific item to a charity aiding homeless children. Make sure that people know about your world-changing efforts. Remember that your industry also benefits businesses that want to bypass major banks, so this too is something that has the potential to change the world.
Get Prepared to Talk to the Media
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, once said that if he had just a dollar left, he would use it for PR. Remember that at one point, Microsoft was a new and unknown company. It was not always the powerful force creating some of the most innovative technology around. To get where they are, it involved a lot of conversations with the media and attracting positive press.
Reporters and the media want to create content that is credible and popular. As someone who has an expert opinion, you have the chance to bolster their content while simultaneously increasing your brand power. The key is knowing how to find reporters so that you can get the press that you desire. There are a number of resources that can be beneficial, such as:
- Source Bottle
Now that you know about some resources, you need to know how to approach them. A quick “hello” and asking to be featured is not going to get you very far. Instead, you need to convince them that you are interesting. You can also work to match up with current interests. For example, if a natural disaster happened recently and your company does work with a charity associated with the recovery efforts, this is an angle that you can pitch to reporters. It will be timely and relevant, two keys to content success. Another example would be discussing the impact that ICO companies are having in a world where big banks used to rule.
Be Direct When Pitching to Journalists
You know how to find the media and what stories might work, but how do you actually pitch it? Generating a pitch is an art, but with some practice and the right information, you can be good at it. The first step is to use tact and respect the journalist’s time. They get pitches all day long, so yours needs to be complete and relevant.
The next step is ensuring that your pitch is interesting and that the finished product is something people would want to share with friends and followers on social media. For example, you have to tell a story that people want to hear. Using the example above about your efforts in natural disaster recovery is a good idea. You can also take advantage of controversy.
Being neutral has its place, but if you want to have your piece read, take a stand on a current topic, such as how cryptocurrency can help people to get out from under traditional banks for their funding. You also want to approach the journalists that write the type of story you want to be featured in. For example, if you are talking about business, Better Homes and Gardens is not going to work.
Use the following tips to find the right journalist for the job:
- ensure that they are active and currently writing
- make sure to get their accurate contact information
- ensure that their regular content matches what you plan to pitch
- research the writer (LinkedIn really helps!)
Take Advantage of Guest Posting Opportunities
While the media is critical to your press-building venture, you can also tackle some of the writing on your own. This simply expands the venues in which you are getting important exposure. There are times when writing on your own is actually more effective because you are able to better utilize your expertise and your unique voice.
What is most important is that your guest post offers solid information and that it can hold a person’s attention. You also want to post on sites that have a high level of authority and search engine ranking. This ensures that you are getting a high level of exposure with everything that you publish. When you properly take advantage of guest posting, you can experience a number of benefits, such as:
- establishing yourself as an expert or authority in your industry
- improving your website SEO via building backlinks
- giving consumers something of value while having a chance to connect with your target audience
- getting more exposure to expand your audience
Make Sure to Build Meaningful Relationships
Building relationships is the most important element of building press for your brand and company. You have surely heard at some point in life that success is highly based on who you know and how you are viewed. This is true. You want to put in the effort and time to build relationships where you help each other out.
For example, if you pitch a journalist, you want to create a stellar pitch, but you also want to tell them how they will benefit from doing the story. Think of it as being in a romantic relationship. You both give and you take, allowing for a mutually beneficial balance. The same is true in professional relationships. Because of this, once you find a journalist that wants to work with you, you do not just want one article. You want to build a relationship so that you can get more press in the future from a person you can work toward trusting to portray you properly.
There are a number of ways to build relationships with journalists that can be highly effective, including:
- comment on their work and share it with your social media following
- share content with them that they might find interesting
- ask for their feedback or advice on something you are working on
- offer them a chance to test a new service or product you have not launched yet
- be genuine in your interactions with them
Once you have these methods down pat and start incorporating them into your brand, you will notice the positive impact. Once everything is in place, keep an eye and make adjustments as they are necessary so that you continue to reap the benefits.
Lama Kanj is a PR Associate at Powerful Outreach specializing in the representation and promotion of ICOs.