10 years ago, press and media coverage were strictly a top down approach. News traveled from giants, like TV networks and newspapers, down to us. Now, because of technology and things like social media, news can break from anywhere or anyone, and it’s those same giants who are scrambling to keep up.
Small businesses now have more power than ever to use media coverage for our business and become an industry expert. Below are three completely free strategies for earning great media coverage for your business that suit a variety of styles. Let’s dig in!
The term “newsjacking” may sounds like a type of robbery, but it just refers to leveraging the popularity of a related breaking news story for your own marketing.
For example, the eyewear company Oakley used newsjacking in an excellent way. When the 33 Chilean miners were rescued, they provided them with Oakley sunglasses because of their sensitivity to light. That little move resulted in an estimated $40 million in press coverage. Not bad!
Newsjacking doesn’t need to be that huge, though. It’s really just taking advantage of popular news that relates to your business. Below is a breakdown of the three steps of news jacking.
Have you ever watched a news story in your industry and thought, “I could run circles around that subject matter expert!”
Great! Then this is the perfect strategy for you.
Subject matter experts are asked to talk about stories not because they are the absolute best, but because the news anchors know about them and they don’t know about you. So how do you change that?
In the past, news broke over the newspaper and TV, but the rise of social media has forced traditional media online to keep up. Almost every news anchor and journalist has a Facebook page or Twitter account. And the best part is, they’re always looking for a story or tip!
Use social media to build relationships with the local journalist and anchors who cover your industry. Just follow them on Facebook or Twitter and monitor their updates for stories you can contribute to. If they don’t have social media, there’s always an email address or phone number you can use to contact them directly.
If newsjacking sounds too crazy and you don’t want to use social media, this tactic just requires an email account. There are free services that bring reporters to you. My favorite is HARO (Help a Reporter Out) which is a free service that connects news reporters who need story sources with industry experts.
HARO is an email that gets delivered to your inbox 3 times a day and shows you the stories in different industries like business, healthcare, education and entertainment with a little information about the story they’re writing and what they need help with. Huge media outlets like the Huffington Post, Fox, and ABC are regularly looking for experts for stories.
Remember, you’re not the only one applying to be featured in these stories. Here are a few tips to stand out and get the free publicity.
If you’ve been out of the media coverage game, these three free strategies can help you jump back in, no matter your industry. What method do you prefer?
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.