PR agencies can cost thousands of dollars per month, and as a business owner, it’s tough to know if it will be worth it. Press can impact the growth of your business if used well. Here are some ways we have been able to get press without paying an agency.
1. Target Publications that Fit
You want to be at the right place at the right time. Study the publication you are targeting. What types of stories are they writing about? Do they talk about ideas, or people or businesses? Do they take a position or state facts?
If you want to get into a publication, you should read it, study it and see if you can envision your company and your story within it. Take notes on what they are covering and how they cover it. Magazines sometimes publish their editorial calendars. The point is, go into a pitch knowing that you are a perfect fit.
2. Make a Genuine Connection with the Writers
Once you have studied the publication you want to be a part of, find the journalists you want writing your story. This journalist should already write about a similar theme or topic. For instance, we thought FastCo would be a good fit to talk about Maker’s Row early on, since many of their readers are designers.
3. Find Your Story Angle
After identifying the publication and the reporter, you must identify the story angle you want.
Don’t bother emailing a journalist if you don’t have anything newsworthy. Wait for the moment when you’ve reached an impressive sales milestone, or reaped the benefit of a recent policy change.
4. Be Direct and Keep It Short
Try to keep your emails to under 2 short paragraphs. No one wants to scroll to get to the point.
5. Be a Source
Getting press is a long-term investment, as are the relationships you build. Maybe a journalist didn’t cover your story this time, but if they are interested in your topic, the moment you have exciting news or an interesting angle, they may write about you. In the meantime, you should offer perspective and be a source when they need it. Provide data and quotes and evidence when asked. The more expert perspective you can offer, the more valuable you will be.
Build Your Product
As you think about how you will generate publicity, you’ll need a product to publicize! Use Maker’s Row to explore factories that can help you build out your product idea. Our 10,000+ factories span a range of industries, such as apparel, accessories, furniture, home decor, and packaging!
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This post was originally published on April 15, 2014 and we’ve added some updates for you.