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Public Relations Secrets: Find the Right Media Outlet for Your Business and Generate Free Publicity

07 March 2011

Part of the process of generating media coverage for your business, is making sure you target the right outlets with the right angle. It's pointless sending a media release to a hit music radio station that reaches teenagers if you're promoting a story about a new baby product. Even the best written, most well researched, and well endorsed media release won't engage a journalist unless it speaks to their target audience. Here are some steps to follow to help you find the right media outlet for your business.

1. Make a list of the media outlets that your consumers read, watch or listen to. If you're not sure, survey your consumers and find out (ask them when they call you, send out an email survey, or ask them at the point of sale).

2. When reviewing media outlets don't overlook trade magazines, business association publications, or newsletters that relate to your industry. These reach a niche market and may provide better results than mass market publications where you're fighting for space with businesses from a range of industries.

3. Familiarise yourself with these media outlets and work out which departments suit your product best. For example, if your customers regularly read a particular woman's magazine, are they most interested in the special offers section, the health section, or the tips and advice section? Once you've worked out which department within the media outlets suit your product, determine the writer or journalist who's responsible for this section. So, if you have a health product, review the health sections of newspapers and magazines to see who's writing the stories.

4. Contact the media outlet and ask to speak to the particular journalist. If you can't get through, leave a message. Ask for their email address and send them an email (we'll be covering how to pitch your story in future articles).

5. Create a list of journalists who regularly write about your topic. Each time you read an article that relates to your industry or topic, take note of the journalist who's written it. Send them some information about you and your product and let them know you're available for comment should there be any follow up stories.

6. Present your information in a manner that suits the media outlet. Many media outlets run long feature stories, but you could find that a short few sentences about your product in a Tips and Advice section can have just as much of a positive impact. Your target media outlet might run lists such as a column of Top 5s (eg the top 5 baby web sites, or top 5 bargain shopping outlets for kids etc). Count how many words feature in these lists and then write your information in the same way. If a journalist can simply copy what you've provided for use in their own format it makes their life easier - which is one of the biggest factors in securing media coverage.

For more detail on how to generate free publicity, there are plenty of articles relating to this at including:

How to Write a Media Release

A Do it Yourself PR Starter Kit

How to Pitch Your Story to the Media

And more!

© 2009 Home Biz Chicks

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  • Ann Margulis

    Ann Margulis 7 years ago

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