Publicity can heighten awareness and “buzz” about you, giving your business a real boost. Media coverage gives you the kind of credibility you just can’t get from ads and brochures. So how can you get the media interested in you?
Before you contact a reporter or write up a press release, make sure the info you’re sharing really is newsworthy! That’s the secret to getting the media to pay attention to you. Let’s start with that press release.

If your press release is an announcement, ask yourself why people should care about what you have to say. If you can’t come up with an answer, do some research, try a different story angle and rewrite the announcement. Ask others to read it — a client, a prospect, co-workers, friends, or family. Find out if they think the info is interesting and useful.

You can also make your own news. Here are five directions to take:

1. Participate in an event that benefits the community, or create one yourself. You’ll be giving something back, inspiring others to do likewise, and providing help to people who need it. That’s good news for all.

2. Come up with a Top 10 List, or a brief topical report. Think about the latest trends in your industry. Use these as subject matter for a Top 10 List or a brief report that demonstrates your expertise. Then let the media know what you’ve come up with.

3. Write an opinion piece for the editorial page. Write down your opinion about a news story or current issue and submit it to the local newspaper. Present your ideas in a positive and respectful manner and you’ll gain credibility, as well as awareness.

4. Make a speech or give a presentation. Look for forums your target audience attends, sponsored by business associations, organizations, and community colleges in your area. These groups need speakers with fresh ideas. Don’t make your talk a sales pitch. Offer up insightful information your audience can use. Invite reporters. Even if the event isn’t covered, you can add it to your resume, further establishing you as an expert in the field.

5. Promote your successes. The things your clients accomplish with your help can make great news stories. Ask if you can share their story with the media, then get their thoughts on how you’ve helped them reach a goal or attain a dream. “Before-and-after” stories are popular and all these efforts can be re-purposed as testimonials and case studies on your web site.

Think like a reporter and you’ll see ways to make your story more newsworthy. The information should be timely and have a benefit.Remember, good media coverage can get great buzz going for you…. Have a great month!