I strongly believe that the best form of advertising is word of mouth, it’s something that no amount of noise, or other kind of publicities can – create, better, or beat. The second best is getting coverage in the big media, which is the press media.
In this article I am going to discuss the 2nd best tool that can help generate publicity, image, mileage as well as reputation for yourself and your business whether it is offline and online; and that medium is newspapers & magazines.
I will share some secrets with you to teach you how you can get yourself some space and attention on the platform without spending a penny. Generally business houses and firms hire PR agencies who take care of this aspect for them; however to avail PR firms services, businesses and firms do end up incurring a huge expense.
We are here to discuss how we can get the guys on board free of cost.
First of All, Why Suddenly Newspaper?
Well it’s not suddenly. Newspapers and magazines have been around forever. And the impact they have on masses, nothing else can.
The closest you can get to `word of mouth’ kind of super-effective human referral is only by getting press coverage of your work, profile, or by getting your point of view published in newspapers, magazines etc at local and national level.
Simple coverage in newspaper reaches miles ahead of what billboards, pamphlets, or radio jingles ever can, for your business and branding. Newspaper coverage has a huge and positive influence on the person who is being covered; as well as the business he is representing.
Being covered in newspapers under any sensible format and opportunity makes an impact that very few marketing vehicles can. This is so because people trust the newspaper they subscribe to, the names of writers and editors are familiar to them and represent an image the reader believes in and connects with; thus everything that the writer says, the reader feels automatically in synch with treating it as final word on the issue.
Be Clear About What You Want to Convey: The first thing you have to keep in mind and always, when you are trying to reach out to press media is being clear about what you want to convey. The message, the brand image, the kind of audience you want to create an impression on; if you are clear about all this remember nothing can ever come between you and your business except success. Understanding your business vis-à-vis yourself is a fundamental & an important step.
List down publications you wish to feature in: Make a list of publications you want to see yourself mentioned in, whether they are blogs, websites, newspapers, community, local, and national magazines that could be monthly, fortnightly, weekly.
Contact Details of Reporters: Once this list is ready make a column against each, and write name of the contact person (reporter, editor, blog owner or administrator) along with his contact details with whom you will strike conversation and put your proposal across. It may require some hard work on your part to get this info but it will have to be done. The newspaper writer you want to get in touch with, if his contact details are not available in the newspaper, you can check out his profile on Facebook or LinkedIn, with internet at hand, you have little to worry about.
The best, most natural, practical, and smart way to connect and network with reporters and bloggers is that whenever you read their articles on the net or in newspapers, that you find interesting or comment worthy, don’t forget to send them an email to convey the same; go to their e-newspaper version and post your comments; write a personal note on reporter’s email id appreciating his work.
Everyone likes being appreciated and the reporting on receiving your email is bound to respond; once that happens, keep in touch. If you are familiar with the subject of the story take a step forward and offer to extend help whenever s/he requires it. Be genuine as you do this; because what I am sharing are not shrewd tricks, but a genuine act of PR; so when you commit, live up to it.
This will build your rapport with him and may be his fellow reporters better, so finally when its time to seek his help for your own business, things will be easier and smoother to deal with. When you are trying to strike a rapport, remember you don’t have to get pushy or overbearing, keep a natural approach when it comes to extending help.
This exercise of building network with the right people will help you get a better press coverage. And once newspaper highlights you and your work, it will be fantastic. Not only will your website receive more hits, you will be approached via email a lot more; if people see your name often in varied news items, (if reporter asks for your quote) people will consider you a knowledgeable figure and will look for ways to keep in touch with you. Just make sure you are constantly in news, especially when it comes to your own industry. While you are learning to adapt to various situations, do remember that not every occasion is going to be exactly how you want it to be; however when you learn to familiarize yourself to a reporter’s feature or story and still manage to convey an impression about yourself is where your key to success lies.