Small Business Public Relations

How to Garner Media Attention

Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures

Every business tries to get in the media with the hopes that your 5 minutes of fame on ABC news will put your business on the map, however the reality is, over 99% of businesses never make it into the main street media. So how can new businesses garner the media attention they are seeking?

Getting your business mentioned in the media can greatly help place your business on the map, however getting into main street media is like breaking into Fort Knox.

The key to garnering the right media attention that your company is seeking is to have a unique story to tell and to stand out from the crowd by performing something truly unique or extreme.

Have a good story to tell

The better your story, the more likely you are to get picked up in the media. David vs. Goliath offers new businesses seeking to take market share from dominant companies to position themselves to tell the underdog story. Everyone likes a good underdog story and most people are likely to root for the underdog which can help garner media attention since this is a favorite social story.

Stand out from the crowd

Media likes something new and exciting. Give the media a reason to pay attention to you. Simply starting a blog or Twitter account is not a unique advantage. Holding a unique competition or giveaway is slightly better, but often not enough. This is usually the step that most entrepreneurs fear the most. Fear of standing out in the crowd and taking a unique or extreme stand can make you feel alienated, but it is often those leaders who are not afraid to take an extreme stand in order to garner the attention they seek and deserve.

Form strategic partnerships and alliances

Partnering with a larger organization that has strong media clout can be a very effective method for garnering media attention as well as strengthening your business model. Leveraging a larger partner's resources and access to new customers and markets in addition to their connections and relationships with main street media means that their press releases will give you the mention and notice you are seeking.

Focus on bloggers, not media journalists

Bloggers are much more likely to write about a new company than a traditional media journalist. Meeting with bloggers at local events and or connecting with them online can help you build the relationships you need with influential bloggers to spread your story. Media journalists are the most difficult to reach and the most difficult to influence, however bloggers have the freedom and independence to write about anything they'd like.

Ultimately, an effective PR campaign leverages pieces of all of the aforementioned methods. Before launching into your PR efforts, think strategically about how you approach each method and solicit feedback and ideas from everyone within your organization to generate the most creative ideas possible. A successful PR campaign can be the key to taking your business to the next level, but it is often a slow, uphill battle for many who fail to successfully find a unique and compelling story to provide the media.

James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.

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