A problem that new businesses can encounter, especially if they are based in an isolated town or outlying suburb, is a lack of knowledge regarding their products or services amongst their desired customer base. Luckily, even the smallest town has at least one local newspaper. By taking advantage of that newspaperâ€™s scope and targeted delivery area, businesses can easily promote themselves.
Getting Local Press Coverage
Getting the local press to cover your business is far more complex than spending money to take out an adâ€”though you might want to do that, too. You need to gain favour with reporters and the journal itself in order to gain organic exposure. This means getting to know the publication as well as familiarising yourself with the people (markets) who read it.
Begin to do this by regularly reading any newspaper or magazine you hope to appear in. Take note of the section headings, popular topics covered, and learn the names of the writers and editors in case you run into one casually.
In addition, begin a concentrated networking effort. By engaging people in non-promotional ways, you develop a more natural relationship. Alternately, specifically approaching journalists to let them know about a story or to provide insight or quotes about one shows your expertise in your area and gets your name on their radar for future stories/quotes.
The Fine Points of a Press Release
There is yet another direct way for businesses to attract the attention of a local newspaper: issuing a press release. Similar to a news article itself, a good press release should be ‘newsworthy’ including a descriptive headline. It should tell a story about your business rather than simply promote it and avoid technical language. Always include a quote and contact information in a press release, and maybe even a photo.