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How to Get Free Media Exposure For Your Home Business
When it comes to marketing a home business on a budget, public relations is one of the most affordable and effective ways to get noticed. A significant part of public relations is press releases, which are free (unless you pay for distribution) news announcements sent to media outlets.
If picked up by the media, the exposure puts you in front of lots of people and gives you credibility. The challenge of using press releases is getting the media to notice. Here’s how to get media exposure to your home business.
Press releases are about announcing the news, not advertising. The first step to writing a press release is deciding what sort of news you want to share. This can include your grand opening, winning an award, attending events or making appearances, or launching new products or services.
If there’s nothing new to announce in your business, you can tie your business into current events or holidays. When I was promoting The Work-At-Home Success Bible, my press releases focused on the bad economy and how working at home was a solution for struggling families.
Not only can you use well-known days or events, such as New Year’s or tax season, but you can check out web sites or Chase’s Calendar of Events that list obscure holidays.
For example, today (April 7) is Metric System Day, National Beer Day, No Housework Day and World Health Organization Day. You can even start your own national day, week or month.
Grab the media’s attention
You have one opening line to grab the media’s attention, so it needs to be catchy, controversial or provocative. Good headlines create curiosity, offer advice or make the reader go “hmmm”. It needs to communicate your news and why it needs to be shared.
Write several options and ask friends or family which pique their interest. For example, “Local Woman Celebrates Telecommuting Week” is ho-hum. “Local Mom Trades her Pantyhose for Pajamas to Celebrate National Telecommuting Week,” is more interesting.
Who, what, where, when, why
Just like any other news item, your press release needs to let the media know the details of your news. This is another area where it’s easy to bore the media. Strive to write your press release in a lively, interesting manner to keep the reader’s attention and hope to get them to pick up the phone or email you about an interview. Don’t be afraid to add interesting facts, anecdotes, quotes or tips to support your news.
There is a specific format to press releases that start with a time frame to run the release (usually “For Immediate Release”) in all caps. Next is your catchy headline. The first paragraph starts with your location (city and state) and then your release information.
At the end of your release, you include three-pound signs (###) or “-30-“centred on the page to signal the end of your release. Follow that with your name and contact information. I like to include a link to my website and media kit, as well as my address and phone.
Get your press release in the right hands
Once you have a press release, you need to mail it, email it or post it to appropriate media sources. The trick is getting it to the right person. A complaint of editors and producers is receiving news releases on topics they don’t cover.
So please do some research to identify the right person to handle your press release and deliver it addressed to them specifically. Most media sources have contact information online. Follow up
In many, if not most cases, you won’t get a phone call or email from the media source. If you don’t hear in a week or so, follow up with a phone call.
Ask the reporter, editor or producer if he/she received your press release and would they be interested in doing a story on the idea you pitched in your release. You’ll probably end up having to leave a message on voicemail, so be sure to leave your phone number for a return call.
My local paper almost always runs my release as I’ve sent it. But other times, I’ve been asked to meet for an interview or in the case of a morning news show, to go in the studio.
This is exciting and sometimes scary. Be ready to deliver your media kit, if asked, and to answer questions related to your topic. If you’re meeting the interviewer in person, dress professionally and arrive prepared to answer questions and show off your products or services.
About the author
Daniel T Anderson, a writer at the essay help service. He keeps up with advancing technologies so as to get acquainted with the latest technological tendencies. Besides, Daniel is keen on reading modern literature and travelling.
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