Journalists are inundated with press releases and features suggestions so it can be very hard to stand out from the crowd, and generate media coverage.
There is a straight-forward way you can generate PR coverage for your business, raise your profile and develop relationships with journalists.
All you need to do, is - 'know your stuff'
Most people expect the best way to get publicity through the media is in the travel pages, but what about all the other pages and broadcasting hours that journalists have to fill?
Whether they're talking about the impact of something like Covid on businesses, discussing why a particular place is a great place to live or move to, or simply putting together tips about how to do something, journalists need 'experts', people who can speak with authority about their topic.
The benefits are bigger than you might think: it helps you develop a relationship with journalists who may share their contacts and come back to you for other stories later; it raises your profile even if only briefly; and it can help your search engine rankings as the references to your business (even without a direct link) online are one of the many factors search engines use to choose how to rank you - it helps them see you're good at what you do and they like that.
You're more of an expert than you realise
You might not think of yourself as an expert, but you are - even if you don't realise it.
You are an expert on your business, on your local area, on how you run your business, on the impact of the economy on your livelihood, on booking levels... the list goes on.
No matter what the story, journalists need concrete examples. They need to bring stories to life, and speaking to 'real people' helps to do that. Journalists are usually under great time pressure so often find researching the right people to talk to is quite tricky. If they already have someone in their address book, they are most likely to try them first, and to keep going back to them. Many freelance for different publications and programmes and move around quite a lot, so one journalist may help you to reach several different audiences.
Journalists call me several times a week, either to suggest other people to talk to or to comment on something that's happening. In the last couple of weeks I've been asked about the impact of the James Herriot TV series, about the impact of the different Tiers on local tourism, to say why living in Yorkshire is so wonderful, to talk about favourite places, to comment on half term bookings and forward bookings for 2021, and Channel 4 just filmed in my garden for a programme about finding skeletons in an archaeological dig (I don't have any bones in my garden). In the last couple of weeks I've spoken to BBC journalists, ITV journalists, and those who write for the Yorkshire Post, the Times, local papers and several others. If I have a story for any of them in the future, it will be much easier for me to just pick up the phone because I already know them and how they think.
Any business owner can do this. You don't have to have a big story or a big business. Journalists want examples from all kinds of businesses. Sometimes it's as simple as telling them how bookings are going. They just need people who can speak from their perspective, honestly and clearly. It can be surprisingly hard to find the right people to speak to so if you're willing to do so, you're already ahead of the game.
So, apart from knowing your stuff, how can you raise your profile as an 'expert' among journalists?
I wrote a little while ago about being an expert about your local area and how you can use that in your marketing. Read the article here.
Please note: all articles are copyright Susan Briggs 2021
Build your business, using my tourism expertise, energy & enthusiasm
All articles on this site are copyright Susan Briggs, The Tourism Network Ltd 2021
Email Susan Briggs
The Tourism Network Ltd, The Old Mill, Millgate, Masham, HG4 4EZ
Tel: 07768 365591