Boost your Biz with free press

Every business owner craves free publicity, yet few know how to get it. The world of reporters, media releases, television appearances and hype can be a bit of a mystery. Publicity should be part your small business marketing strategy, so here are some tips to help get your name on the air, in print or online:

– Be newsworthy. You must have something interesting to say. Create an angle by attaching your business story to a trend or event, such as “Recent surge of home break-ins push security alarm sales.”

– Become an expert. Media often seek the opinions of experts for a news story. Based on your business focus, identify your particular expertise or specialization and credit yourself accordingly in each media release; for example, knitting expert Jane Smith …

– Never use media to sell. Editors won’t publish a story about your upcoming holiday sale. They’ll consider that an advertisement, not news. Respect media integrity by never mixing advertising with editorial.

– Send a media release. News editors prefer a one-page, professionally written media release, sent by fax, mail or e-mail. Write your media release as if it has already appeared; in other words, write as a reporter. Editors are more likely to run a story that’s ready to go.

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