Inviting press attention is one of the best ways to grow a small business, but many businesses don't know how or where to begin. Lee Esposito, principal of Lee Esposito Associates, offers the following dos and don'ts for generating publicity.
- Become a student of the media. Read local newspapers and business journals and watch news broadcasts to discover patterns or trends and learn which reporters cover your specific industry.
- Read national stories and watch network news broadcasts for opportunities to publicize your business. Local editors and reporters often are eager to put a local slant on national stories.
- Contact reporters or editors to introduce yourself and your business. Be prepared to let them know what's new or unique about your business and how it will benefit their readers, viewers or listeners.
- Tie your product or service to a quirky national holiday or celebration. For example, a pizza chain that offers a peanut butter and jelly pizza received extensive media coverage by tying its pizza to the April 2 celebration of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.
- Disappear after the interview. Be available throughout the process to assist with additional facts, figures or questions.
- Use jargon. Instead, use colorful, everyday language when describing your product or service.
- Ask for or expect special concessions because you are an advertiser.