When you’re a small business, positive word-of-mouth is critical to growth. One of the best ways to get that buzz going is through publicity.  But how do you compete with the big guys, and get publicity?  Here are the only three steps you need to get great publicity FREE:

Step 1:  Have A Great Product, Service or Business

Most small businesses think that what they sell is great.

The Key: To get publicity, you need to provide what the media thinks is great.

Here are some examples of what makes products interesting to the media:

  • A truly new product (just launched in the last few months or about to be launched)
  • Unique, breakthrough product
  • Works well, tastes great, etc. (In most cases the media will test out your product if they are interested in featuring it in a story)
  • Colorful packaging / visually appealing – especially important for visual media
  • Product ties into trends – organic/green, political, etc.
  • Priced right – less than key price points ($100, $50, $25, $10) or priced high if truly a luxury item

Here are some examples of what makes services and businesses interesting to the media:

  • New service, company or book (just launched in the last few months or about to be launched)
  • Unique, breakthrough service, concept or business
  • Provides ways to save money
  • Offers something for free
  • High rate of revenue and employee growth
  • Ties into trends

Step 2:  Approach The Right Media Contact With A Great Pitch

You should only approach media that cover your type of product or business.  This means that you’ll need to read, listen to or view these media outlets prior to pitching them.

Once you determine that your business or product is a good fit for their editorial coverage, you need to find the right contact.  You can do this in several ways:

  • Call up the media outlet and ask who the person is who covers your area
  • Look at the print masthead or producer credits
  • Search online
  • Buy a list – you can find these online

Then you need to pitch the contact. Include why your product or service is a great fit for that media outlet, as well as a product or service description.  Don’t forget to include your contact information.

You can pitch via phone or email.  Here, you can see a sample pitch for a product or service business.

Step 3: Follow Up

This is the part that trips up most do-it-yourself publicists and even P.R. folks.  Once the media has expressed interest in your product or service, you must be persistent in contacting them.

Often you’ll need to follow-up with them several times, via the phone or email, until you have gotten media coverage.

By following these steps, your chances of getting publicity are greatly increased.  And once you get publicity, you’ll see more buzz, more sales and more credibility for your business.

Source: Small Business Trends