The internet is full of articles and guides on how to start a business and get it off the ground. These resources will tell you about the importance of creating a brand, disrupting your industry, using social media to interact with customers, and finding top talent. However, there is a key component that most of them seem to forget: How to improve press and media coverage.
With data by the U.S. Census Bureau suggesting that about 1.7 million businesses were created during the first four months of 2022, this year promises to be another great year for new businesses. With so much competition out there, getting exposure is becoming more difficult.
Good press and media coverage will not only improve brand awareness and get you business, but will also be essential when raising funding. Unfortunately, media and press coverage doesn't come naturally, no matter how many founders and marketing experts seem to think that way. Journalists are often bombarded with requests for coverage and news, which means they are very careful about what topics they cover. As such, expecting them to stumble upon your business or startup and choose to cover it is just wishful thinking.
The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to improve media and press coverage for your business. By Improving, I mean more than just getting the coverage in the first place as, after all, you want good coverage.
Establish Relationships With Journalists
Build rapport with journalists. I don't mean contacting them when you want coverage or offering them passes to your events. I mean creating a relationship before you are in need of coverage.
You see, journalists receive lots of requests, invitations, and offers every day from strangers. If you establish a relationship, they will be more open to the idea of providing coverage when you need it. You can establish rapport by connecting locally or via social media, reading/sharing their content, or offering your knowledge as an expert in your industry.
The relationship you can have with journalists is not a one-way street. In fact, you might find that once rapport has been established, they might even contact you and offer exposure in some form!
Make a Good Pitch
No matter how many journalists you have built rapport with, there will be times when you will want to pitch a publication or journalist you haven't worked with before. In such cases, it is really important that you make a good pitch.
While the definition of "good pitch" will vary depending on who you ask, there are certain elements that can't be missed. First, you want to make sure the pitch is relevant to the journalist. If you are pitching a piece about your blockchain startup to journalists covering sports, a negative answer is to be expected
Second, make sure to personalize the pitch. This is not only about using the right name and title but also about letting the journalist know that you know who they are. It is all about communicating why they are the right person to cover your story. After all, you shouldn't be pitching randomly.
Lastly, your pitch should tell a story. Provide background information like statistics, personal stories, potential use cases, and other data that tell why the pitch matters. This will make your pitch more compelling and will also help the journalist cover it more efficiently, which they will appreciate.
Globalization is not just a buzzword; it is a reality. When it comes to globalization, international migration is one of the core elements driving it. It is estimated that the number of expatriates around the globe was 87.5 million back in 2021.
If you are a local business, you could be missing a large portion of customers if you fail to reach them in their native language. Even if they speak English, many may prefer to read information in their original language.
Now, if you are the founder of a startup or business looking to make business globally, the reason for going multilingual is obvious. With the markets becoming increasingly global, reaching new audiences is more important than ever.
Going multilingual can take various forms ranging from having your website available in different languages to translate all of your press releases. It is understandable that you probably won't be able to do the translations yourself, but fortunately, there are ways around that.
The first one is the most obvious: Hire a professional. Companies like the Spanish Group offer professional translation in over 90 languages and have a history of being reliable. While you could also hire individual translators, doing so would make quality vary and could make management more difficult.
The second option is to get in touch with journalists or creators who can cover multiple languages. While this will mean you have to do more research than if you were to cover one language, the benefits will be greater once the connection is made.
No matter which option you go with, never opt to use translating software. There's a lot of buzz about artificial intelligence use in translation, which is fine for casual conversation, but not something I'd trust for anything complex like business contracts, legal documents, human resources manuals, academic works, safety rules, and the like.
Generate Actual Value
The more earned media you generate, the more your press and media exposure will increase.
By generating value for your industry and community, you will be able to get coverage organically. Examples of generating value would be hosting events, speaking at a conference, or volunteering for charity. Any action that you take that generates value for others will certainly gain exposure for your business.
You can also look at it from a more personal perspective. By giving exclusives or other perks to journalists or outlets you have established rapport with, you can further build those connections. This is especially effective in the case of freelancers as they tend to work for multiple clients, which translates to coverage from multiple outlets.