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7 Tips to Help Women Get Favorable Media Coverage for Their Small Business

Who wouldn’t want more positive media coverage for their work and their business? Here are 7 tips to help you get favorable media exposure and become known as an expert in your industry.

1.   Get Personal with Your Pitch

Sending a dry, boring press release isn’t going to get you noticed. As a woman running her own business, your story may be inspirational.Don’t be afraid to tell them your story. Make it memorable and tell them what’s unique about you. You could tell them how you got into your business, how you picked your company’s name, where you source your product or anything else that makes you stand out. Are you working in a male-dominated field? This could enhance the news value of your story.

2.   Establish a Connection with Reporters

Got a product you’re proud of? One of the best media training tips to establish a connection with reporters is to send out samples. Sending reporters a sample will keep you top of mind when they are working on a story in your niche. Start by compiling a list of reporters that will likely align well with your products. Once you have your list, you need to consider which product you are going to send them. This is your only chance to make a first impression, so this decision is important. The product you pick should be one that will speak the most to your target market. Beware that many reporters cannot accept valuable gifts from sources they are covering, and bloggers often have to disclose these gifts in their stories.

3.   Provide Professional Photos

Photos are a great way to make a lasting impression, so be sure to send professional pictures of your product and business along with your inspirational story. Including an exceptionally good photo could mean the difference between getting featured as a major story or maybe not getting noticed at all. If you have the resources, invest in professional photos instead of snapping away on your cell phone. The money spent will be well worth it because you can use the photos in other places, like your website and social media. Putting a face with the story will make it even more memorable, so be sure to include a professional photo of yourself along with your product.

4.   Be Social Media Savvy

Pull out that list of reporters you made before and track down their social media pages. Twitter isa great platform for this because journalists tend to be very active there. Get the reporter’s attention by sharing their content and replying to their tweets, especially if it’s a topic that is related to your business niche. You may need to interact with the reporter regularly over time to build a relationship, so be tenacious and patient.

5.   Follow Breaking News Stories

Keep your eyes open for breaking local or national news stories that relate to your product or company. For example, if you are a real estate agent who lives in a town that’s in the news for being a great place to retire, you might consider offering a story that focuses on all the great retirement communities in your area. When you find a relevant story, contact a reporter and offer your knowledge and expertise. Reporters love these news “hooks” and may assign higher priority to story pitches that include them.

6.   Help Them Out

Already got coverage and want the reporter to remember you?A great –and little known—technique to help you maintain relationships with the media is to offer story tips that have nothing to do with your specific business. It could be a developing trend in your industry, a viral video you found, or even a house fire near your home. When you feed a reporter tips about stories that hold no inherent value to you, they may remember this the next time you’re hoping for a little coverage of your own.

7.   Create a Media Page on Your Website

Now that you are connecting with all these reporters, you’ll want to make it easy for them to feature your business. Create a media page on your website where they can go to grab your logo, photos of your products and business, and video demonstrations.  Downloadable PDF press kits are great. Make sure to include any distinctions you may hold as a woman-owned business. The easier you can make it for them, the more likely it is that they will make your business a part of a story.

Getting news coverage for your business is a great way to bring new clients through the door and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. It’s (much) cheaper than advertising and often more effective. Good luck!

Author Bio: Mark Bernheimer is a former CNN correspondent (1995-2000) and the founder of MediaWorks Resource Group, an internationally renowned media training and consulting firm.

Tara Hooper
Personal image and professional consultant. Effective communicator. Transformation queen. Confidence creator. 

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