As a business owner, any day that earns you positive attention from the press is a good day, and TINYpulse has been fortunate enough to get a fair share of it. Our ability to stay in a writer's good graces, however, didn't happen by magic. And we didn't do it with money, either. It took some trial and error.
Do your research. It's not good enough to contact a journalist who writes for Forbes just because you want to appear in Forbes. Just like your business focuses on specific customer needs, writers tend to write about particular topics. Before you get in touch, be sure the journalist you're hitting up is the right fit. As experts in organizational culture and employee engagement, we always aim to find writers who care about these topics. We'd never approach someone with a history of writing about, say, international law. That would fall on deaf ears for sure.
Give them a story. Once you find the right writer in the right publication, it's time to hand off a good story. Odds are, your new favorite journalist won't just write a story because you want her to. You're going to need to put something interesting behind it. We were fortunate enough to have a compelling origin story. It's unique, and it gives journalists something to sink their teeth into. Look for the angle that makes an article on you compelling. If you can find the journalist who will do it justice, pitch away. It'll get their attention.
Be responsive. If you think being a business owner is tough on your inbox, try being a journalist. If you pitch a story to one, be ready to hang out on the edge of your seat to see if he replies. If he needs more information from you, be ready to hit the Reply button and punch up an answer. Responsiveness matters. Journalists work on deadlines—unchangeable, constant deadlines. You must be ready to answer at a moment's notice.
Give thanks. If you manage to muster up the PR hit that is good press for your company or service, know that it is a gift. And what do you do with gifts? You say thanks for them. In a world where email is just as easy to delete as it is effortless to write, I do it with a handwritten note. Few things will make you stand out more in that journalist's memory than putting a pen across actual paper to express your appreciation. Hoping to get a lot of press? Consider having some company-branded postcards printed up.
A big PR win doesn't happen overnight, but keep these best practices in place and you're sure to get a hit.
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