PR Storytelling for Small Businesses
Small businesses are frequently struggling with finding the time to tell the company’s story on a consistent basis. When it comes to public relations, plenty of businesses find it easy to create content for various platforms, as well as engage with the customers online. However, when it comes to getting third-party approval and credibility, it’s an entirely different PR beast.
Many businesses understand how crucial media coverage is, however, they’re still scrambling in getting journalists’ attention. Fortunately, there’s a strategy for everything, including how to reach the right media outlets, get their attention, and get positive media coverage that’s going to impact the company’s bottom line.
The first step is identifying the way in which the story should be told to the public — the channels can be through local, state, national, or global outlets. Determining this will then define the type of media outlets the business should be researching, contacting, and pitching their story to.
To identify the right channels, companies should look at where their products or services are most used — and in some cases, that’s going to include both local and global media outlets. For example, if a small business has had a big impact on a local community, and has also won a big industry award, that story should be shared both with local and with industry-specific media outlets.
The next step is to identify what the story is going to be, and whether or not it’s newsworthy. This is one of the things that has a big impact on the company’s PR strategy, and it’s used as a tool to determine which media outlets should be targeted. Companies can look both externally and internally for stories and story ideas, and leveraging those moments in a positive manner.
These stories can be anything from relevance to events in pop culture, holidays, and trending topics for external ideas, and studies, events, research, or good deeds for internal ideas.
Then, it’s time to create a media list, and that list should be changed over time, given how different stories might fit better with different outlets or journalists. In the media outlet research process, it’s essential to collect a lot of information about the outlets themselves, such as names, contact information, previous interactions, interests, and focus, social media handles, and even location for national and global outlets.
Then, that list should be narrowed down to the right journalists, producers, or writers, and the pitch can be sent out. The best way to narrow down the list is to identify which people have covered a similar topic before, which people are using relevant industry hashtags on social media, or using relevant keywords.
The pitch should be all about relevance and timeliness, and with a little bit of luck and previous relationship building, it’s going to get picked up. Now, whether that results in the company being mentioned as part of a larger story, or getting an exclusive feature, the pitch is going to be important and resonate both with the journalist and the target audience.