Friday, November 15, 2019
A common misconception among news media consumers is that reporters are very selective about who they’ll speak to. Reporters may not bite on a tip that traffic lights in the city are timed to make motorists like you late for everything, but when it comes to a community-wide mobilization such as Small Business Saturday, you and your business are not insignificant.
But, you have to earn it!
“Earned media” for small businesses is, in communications parlance, any free coverage that you generate by grabbing the attention of gatekeepers — print reporters, broadcast channels, bloggers and vloggers, and influencers. How do you do that?
The answer is both simple and maddening. You ask.
It’s trickier than it sounds. News media don’t typically highlight businesses just for the novelty of it. The news model is largely advertising-supported, and attention for small businesses is most of that advertising.
Big holidays and community-wide events, though, are an easy opportunity to highlight your business. To generate Small Business Saturday earned media, you must reach out to TV, radio and print — as well as bloggers and other online “influencers.”
After all, Small Business Saturday is easy media for them, too.
Let’s get started!
Your earned media plan really is a list or map of all your earned media options. Because, once you “earn” it, the gatekeeper does the work for you. (Easy media!)
Your work is just getting them to bite.
Your Small Business Saturday earned media plan begins with a pitch, an appeal or proposal. (If you’re reaching out to traditional media, make this an email; if it’s a social media account holder, a direct message or even public-facing post.)
Nothing in Small Business Saturday earned media pitching will be more overlooked than who to send your message to. Find the right email address, and set yourself up for success.
If all else fails, go to the organization’s website and look for a “Contact” or even a “Tip” link.
Today’s earned media for small businesses as often as not means new media. It’s a different ballgame subject to many of the same rules and trends. For more on social media, see our social media guide.
Typing is now the leading way that we communicate. It wasn’t always this way. And you know what? The old way has one substantial strategic advantage.
All of the work you’re doing to get a news reporter, a reviewer or social media “influencer” to consider your easy media pitch this Small Business Saturday shouldn’t proceed along just one trajectory.
One reason people try earning media and then stop after one or two tries is that it’s kind of like online dating — after a while, it just feels like rejection.
For more tips on how to garner your own earned media, check out our Small Business Saturday earned media checklist today!
Kinetic Business by Windstream is a proud member of our local community. Visit kineticbusiness.com if you are in need of more internet bandwidth or a modern voice solution! Happy holidays from your local communications partner.