Right now is the perfect time to raise your profile in the media; showcase your expertise, explain to people how they can adapt to their new business constraints, help parents with homeschooling or entertaining kids at home, offer information and advice about your area of expertise and become “known” for your specialty subjects. Then, when we are all “let out” again, your business or your name will be top of mind when people are prepared to spend again.
As soon as the government started to close down businesses and force us all to stay at home, everyone was in shock. It was hard to believe it was happening! And so what did we all do? We started to read the news (hourly in many cases), scour the internet for stories about the COVID-19 situation and how it was affecting other countries, watch TV shows and YouTube and listen to radio and podcasts to find out what the symptoms of the virus are, how people were coping and what it all meant. Our appetite for the media grew.
The media took a hit with the virus, too, though. The PR agencies that offered them experts for comments and a constant stream of media releases have shut their doors, journalists are working from home so are unable to go out and find stories themselves and many of the other institutions that they relied on have stopped. But their need for content has never been higher. This presents a huge opportunity for getting your article or news story picked up by radio, TV, newspapers and magazines.
So what should you do? Well, if you think about how you or your business can help people to understand something better, that would be a good start. Remember, the media isn’t interested in you, they want to help their readers or viewers and will be keen to take anything that can help them with that.
Write 500-600 words around a topic that you think would help others. Contact the media that you think your customers read, watch or listen to and offer them the article or the news angle. If you write the article as if you are a journalist then they may well just take it exactly as it is, and give you a byline/credit. If you want them to write the story for you, you should approach the news media and have a very strong angle and then pitch the idea.
There are numerous courses, and PR experts that can help you get started with your PR, just google them! An online course that offers you the information so you can learn at your own pace, and ideally the media contacts so you can send out your release, are the two things to look out for. And if you can get some live mentoring as well, so you can ask questions and get suggestions for story ideas then that is a bonus.
Give it a go! What have you got to lose anyway? And if your article gets picked up or you get an interview it will hopefully give you a taste for more! The more media coverage you can get, the better as far as your brand awareness, SEO, social media reach and profile-raising are concerned.
Just do it!
Jules Brooke, Founder, Handle your own PR