PR for small businesses: 3 ways to make your SME stand out to a journalist

So you’re a small business with a big idea, and you just know that journalists will want to write about it. How do you stand out from the hundreds of press releases sent to them every day?

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So you’re a small business with a big idea, and you just know that journalists will want to write about it.

They receive hundreds of press releases every day, so content marketing needs a more considered approach than ever.
To stand out to journalists and their readerships, here are 3 factors to consider before phoning, tweeting or emailing them.
And if you’d still like some specialist help, drop us a line.

Make sure your content is timely

Your content needs to get to the right place at the right time, so…

Keep an eye out for relevant awareness days

For journalists, traffic from social media is gold dust.

Social traffic can be a key factor when evaluating the success of an article, so stand out by contributing content that’s likely to get shared.

Awareness days are a tried-and-tested way to generate mass social traffic. They come with their own hashtags (#smallbusinesssaturday, anyone?), are more likely to trend, and articles about the awareness day have a higher chance of going viral.

Action point: Click here for a calendar of awareness days. You can go through it manually, or download the full year for around £40. Alternatively, get in touch with us and we’ll put together a consultancy package including similar information. Once you’ve got your list of relevant awareness days, work on ideas to engage journalists (and their readers/your potential leads).

Include seasonal events

You’ll have a lot of competition around Christmas, Eid, Valentine’s Day and even Halloween. However, this follows the same formula as with awareness days. A journalist’s editorial calendar can revolve around these events, so they’ll be on the lookout for relevant content.

Action point: Add seasonal events to your calendar of awareness days. Similarly, we’ll include this in a consultancy package if you get in touch.

But keep your content versatile

I recently saw Shannon McGuirk, Head of PR and Content at agency Aira, talk at BrightonSEO. One of the points that stood out to me was about an infographic she’d created on behalf of her client Vouchercloud.

It detailed the world’s booziest countries. You can see it yourself here. How media-friendly is that?

Unsurprisingly, the infographic got lots of coverage in Dry January, when it launched. As International Beer Day and St Patrick’s Day came and went, the coverage kept coming; proving the versatility of quality B2C content.

She and her colleagues demonstrated an economic approach to their client’s content. This is a salient point for small businesses in particular. Making resources go the extra mile doesn’t stop at production. It’s just as relevant when it comes to your marketing content.

Make your content credible

Journalists are primarily interested in your ‘so what?’ point. When you’re creating your content, define that point as early as possible. If a third party can back up your ‘so what’ point, it immediately becomes more credible.

This is also an opportunity to partner with other businesses on content. Here’s an example…

The marketing manager of an organic food business writes a press release for National Obesity Awareness Day. As a small business, she’s interested in local coverage. Before she starts writing, she speaks to experts at a local gym. A trainer comments on the link between fitness and organic food, and her point is included in the story. When a regional journalist reads it, he sees two different local ‘thought leaders’ in agreement. The story has credibility from the offset and is published. Delighted with the free publicity, the gym suggests a promotional partnership… and so on and so forth.

It’s worth considering that charities have high profile spokespeople. They’re ready to pass comment in exchange for free publicity of their charity.

Action point: Create a list of relevant local businesses, personal contacts and charities.

Research similar content

Differentiation is the cornerstone of effective, memorable marketing. New Broca Creative clients get a competitor content analysis, which allows us to define opportunities to say what others aren’t saying.

Let’s be realistic: with as much content as there is out there, most ideas tread on the toes of another. If you find that to be the case, it’s imperative to find your own unique angle.

Action point: use Google Trends, Majestic and Buzzsumo. They’re free tools that can help you see if your content is different from what’s already out there.

Getting a journalist’s attention through quality content is a fine art. If you’re a small business in the UK, we’d love to help you get press coverage. Get in touch here.

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