Right now, the chances are high that there’s a journalist sat inside one of your local newspapers or radio stations with their head in their hands.
(If you’re an IT consultant who operates in a certain sector; then the same applies to the sector magazines)
That’s because they need to generate a stack of new content to fill the next issue or the next day’s output – but they can’t find any good stories!
I was a journalist for 13 years and would often have days like this. I would sit in my radio station at 6pm, knowing I had nothing to put in the news during the next morning’s breakfast show.
Few IT support business owners realise that journalists actually need their help to generate great content, that their readers and listeners will find fascinating.
Why would you spend money on paid-for advertising when you can easily get publicity that works better?
There are right ways to do this and wrong ways to go about it. The most important thing to remember with PR is that it’s not about having good contacts, or press releases, or a good PR firm. You don’t need any of these things.
All you need is great stories that relevant people will be interested in. And the ability to easily communicate those stories to the journalists who control access to that audience. Give the journalist what they want and need, and they will thank you for it by giving you free publicity.
Which local titles should you target? Increasingly there are more and more local websites, blogs and newsletters springing up that are run by former journalists. And which are providing an alternative route to get to a local audience. They are going to be much more important in the future as they build bigger audiences.
But right now, the local newspaper and radio stations are still the most effective way to reach people locally, especially if they have a good web presence. Newspapers are good but radio stations are better.
There’s still a “wow” factor to appearing on the radio. Getting a regular slot on your local station can significantly elevate the way local people think about you. And getting that slot isn’t as difficult as you think.
Remember – like any effective marketing, it’s about getting the right message, in front of the right person, at the right time.
Put a great story idea in front of a stressed out journalist at the moment they most need it; and you increase your chances of being rewarded with lots of free publicity