For a small business, great press can have a major impact on sales. Even though many small businesses have little to no budget for advertising, they can undertake a few easy public relations initiatives to increase exposure. To start, entrepreneurs need to pay attention to who covers what among local journalists. When they find someone in a niche closely related to the mission of the startup, they can begin to develop a working relationship.
Before entrepreneurs contact the media, however, they should consider their pitch. Journalists receive dozens of messages daily, so only something truly striking will grab their attention. The pitch should differentiate the company’s product or service from other, comparable ones and make the true value of the company immediately apparent. A great pitch can carry a company for years, thus making it imperative that entrepreneurs invest time into creating it.
Once journalists express interest in a business, entrepreneurs need to follow up consistently without becoming a nuisance. Journalists usually juggle several projects at once, so small businesses should dedicate a single, reliable contact for the press. Media professionals have no obligation to write about the company, so entrepreneurs should express gratitude to them and strive to build a respectful, lasting relationship.