A steady stream of media coverage is one of the best ways to ensure that you are keeping your business visible and relevant. While product launches, mergers and multimillion dollar-acquisitions grab attention and often take the spotlight in news, they aren’t always going to be available to share from your company. So when your company’s well of announcements runs dry, what can you do?
To keep your business in the eye of the media and public, try creating news.
Media coverage: 6 ways to generate buzz
Host a survey
Conducting a survey and publicly sharing the results is a great way to get media coverage for your business. In leveraging surveys, your business will be able to capture quantitative data on the actions, feelings, and thoughts of the targeted audience. In turn, this information can then be used to craft a story that includes your business. Journalists and reporters like surveys as they can use the results as evidence in a story or article.
If you decide to invest in a survey, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t create a survey specifically about your business. The survey should be used to help you tell a larger story that relates to your business. For example, if you own a greeting card business, instead of asking your customers questions about your specific business, you may ask questions relating to whom they buy cards for and if they usually mail or hand deliver cards.
- Don’t force answers. The point of surveys is to find out information that you don’t know or couldn’t find out elsewhere. To do this, you need to ensure that the questions you are asking aren’t leading the respondent to give a specific response. Additionally, don’t ask a yes or no question that contains multiple thoughts or ideas. Stick to basic questions as they will yield the clearest results.
- Publish the results. Beyond sharing the result findings with the media, make sure that you post your survey on your website and distribute a press release. By sharing your results broadly and keeping them visible on your site, you give reporters that you don’t have direct contact with an opportunity to leverage your findings.
- Identify your sample size. The number of individuals responding to your survey matters. Journalists are most likely to share and leverage surveys that poll larger pools of individuals. To help determine the best sample size for your survey, consider working with a research company that can help you not only reach the intended audience, but will be able to craft appropriate questions, determine sample size and provide detailed findings.
Share trends and data findings
As a smart business owner, you’re probably keen on keeping an eye on what’s trending with your customers and in your industry. As you explore this data, look for any trends or details that you think may be interesting to share with the media.
Here are two examples of how trends and data could be used:
- Let’s say you own a gift shop and all of the sudden you can’t keep certain items in store. Use this information to educate the media on trends that could be happening related to local shopping.
- As you look at your financials, perhaps you see that the average customer is spending 35% more than they were last year. Leverage this information to position a story with the media about the local economy and consumers supporting local businesses.
Host an event
In-person events provide opportunities not only for you to reach customers, investors and community partners, but they also afford the chance for you to meet face-to-face with media friendlies. There are a variety of events that your business could host, but for the sake of obtaining media attention, here are a few ideas to inspire you to think outside the box:
- Open house: If you’re a newer business or you have opened a new location, host an open house and inviting the media to tour your facility. If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, reach out to see if they offer ribbon-cutting ceremonies to give the media a key moment to feature.
- Hold a demonstration: To put your business’ offerings front and center, host a demonstration or presentation. For example, if you own a martial arts studio, invite the media to join you during the open house to talk about self-defense and take a short intro class. Have your own clothing boutique? Why not host a fashion show that both the media and your customers can attend.
And, don’t forget that you could always do an event that benefits a charity.
Feel-good stories are big hits with the media. If you haven’t already invested in a philanthropic strategy for your business, consider creating one. Philanthropy creates win-win situations for business owners — allowing you to not only give back, but get a bit of publicity, too.
If you don’t have the resources to invest in your own philanthropic endeavors, partner with a local organization or business that already has plans in place. Teaming up with another entity is a great way to reduce the burden for all involved as it allows you to divide and conquer responsibilities. While you won’t be able to take full credit for the actions and outcome, you will be able to be part of the story. And, let’s be honest, anything is better than nothing.
Win an award
Winning awards can do more for your business than just a momentary celebration, trophy or logo for your website. Journalists, especially business reporters, often cover businesses when they win prestigious accolades. If you’re on the fence about investing in an awards strategy for your business, consider how winning an award for your business could be used as a hook to secure media coverage.
Think about the competition
As you think about how to create news for your business, take time to step back and think about the news coverage garnered by your competitors and other businesses. Explore outlets that you’re interested in getting coverage from. It’s important that you do research to better understand the types of information that media outlets cover and what stories have been covered recently. Media friendlies want fresh, new and exciting stories, so don’t pitch anything you’ve seen in at least the last 30 days.