How to earn publicity for your business

If you’re a business owner, it’s vital people know about your company and what it offers – and the best way to create brand awareness is through publicity.

Utilising public relations (PR) gives your business widespread coverage – and by gaining publicity in traditional media, those publications appear to be endorsing you, your product or your service, further building trust among consumers.

Here are some tips to get your organisation noticed.

Show off your unique side:

A question you should always ask yourself is, why should the customer choose you? Too often businesses get caught up in listing their features rather than actually specifying what makes them different from their competitors.

When developing your key messages, you should point out what makes you special in your industry and tie it to an emotional element that benefits the customer.

Create a list of what you want to achieve:

Figure out what you want to achieve short-term and long-term as a business. If your goal is to quickly boost profits, then aim to be featured in different publications, as soon as possible. If your goal is to achieve results in the long-term, then become a regular article contributor to build your own profile, and also that of your organisation. This second approach will also help position you as an expert in your industry, therefore building credibility for your brand.

Once you’ve decided on your goals, research different media outlets, including, radio and television channels and specific shows, newspapers, social media pages, websites and magazines to find publications and journalists that might be interested in covering your story.

Pitch your story:

Good PR professionals will have a strong database and network of journalists whom they can pitch your story to, and knowledge of how to tell the story in a way that appeals to that specific person or publication. This is known as choosing the right “angle” for the story. If it’s a local publication compared to a national one, the language will need to change, for example. A pitch to a TV station will require suggestions of “vision” or footage, while a blog page may only need a photo.

Remember that your pitch needs to be newsworthy, meaning it needs to grab the reader’s attention and be relevant to your audience. Consider why people would want to see it: is it particularly timely? Does it contain conflict or elements of human interest? Does it appeal to a local audience?

Once your story gets picked up, be prepared to be contacted by a journalist. If you’re new to the world of publicity, don’t be surprised by the number of enquiries you may receive. These can include follow up interview requests, extra facts and figures, research for a particular area – the list goes on. To help with this process, make sure your social media bios and websites are all up to date with the latest information about your organisation. Always ensure a spokesperson is available the day a media release is issued and ensure you work to a tight deadline. Journalists need answers almost immediately – while frustrating, the coverage will be worth the effort!

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