With so much emphasis on social media and the Internet as sources of news and information, many small business owners overlook the local news reports as a potential platform for public relations. Reporters need stories to fill up their time slots, whether it be 30 seconds on the news or a recorded video for a website, social media page, or another communication form. Most news outlets are allocated approximately 6-7 hours a day of television programming, not including commercial teasers. That is a huge opportunity to pass by.

We’ve outlined some pointers on how to capitalize on the media:

Find something new or innovative that you want to announce.

People seem to love the word “new” and are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest thing. So, if your small business is offering a new product, service, or some change to what you have done in the past, get the local reporter involved. Push the “human interest” aspect of how this will be great for the economy, the community, and those who seek you out.

Offer your area of expertise in conjunction with another story they are featuring.

Has a certain event been front and center on the news? Do you have some knowledge on that topic? Reach out to the local news station or newspaper and offer to share your insight. Let’s say you operate a child care center and are well-versed in children’s safety. During the summer months, you can offer tips on water safety or outdoor play, or avoiding bee stings. Something relevant. Parents watching that story will remember your center’s name. The news reporter doesn’t have to hunt down an expert. The story writes itself.

Does one of your employees go beyond the call of duty regularly?

Perhaps you would like to recognize that employee for his/her service to you and others. You could ask the local news outlets if they would help you “surprise” the person with an award or recognition. Again, your employee’s positive actions make a great human interest story for the reporter, and you get some valuable face time on the news.

Are you hiring?

Are you thinking about hiring in the future? With so many people looking for work these days, asking the local media to feature your company shines a light on you and your company. Get their buy-in for how this will make the neighborhood better and how you are looking for people who care as much about the community as you do, avid readers or watchers of the news station or newspaper you love. This works well if there are competing news outlets in your neighborhood.

Is your company partnering with another company to do charitable work?

Or complete a project? If it’s local, it’s news. Let’s say you are a realtor who has helped a home buyer link up with a lender specializing in a certain kind of loan. Let’s say that lender did an awesome job, and your home buyer was impressed by you making the connection and the lender making the loan. Tell someone about it. Tell the news you’d like to commend the lender publicly for helping a local family so quickly. Sure, you are putting the light on someone else, but you are also putting the light on yourself.

Public relations and publicity can come from a variety of sources once the imagination gets flowing.

If you need help brainstorming ways to genuinely and authentically reach out to the media that will make them just as invested in your business as you are, we can help.

Whether you’re a business owner or financial professional, the tools you need to get started are within reach. Contact me, or schedule a call, and I’ll be happy to discuss your marketing needs with you.