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Why Should You Worry About Getting the Best Media Coverage?
The rapid spread on online media such as blogs and social networking sites notwithstanding, traditional and conventional media such as newspapers, print magazines, industry journals, radio, and television still works well to build credibility, disseminate news and information. By spending the time it takes to get the best media coverage you can, you can boost your sales and revenue exponentially.
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Advertisements rank amongst the best time tested option to spread awareness about a business and its products, and attract customers. Paid advertisements however need not answer the question “How to get the best media coverage.”
Effective print advertising depends on factors such as the attractiveness of the ad, the clarity with which the ad strives to make potential customers understand that the business or product can solve a problem or fulfill a need, and the clarity with which the ad describes how to contact the business.
The major drawback of paid advertisement in print or television is its fleeting nature. People see a glance of the ad and forget about it, and most of the people who may be in dire need of the services may not even see it. The maximum visibility comes only when taking up a prominent space or slot, and this is a costly affair. Classified advertisements, advertisement in newspapers offering free ads, and advertising on non-peak days are low-cost alternatives, but such options also result in reduced eyeballs for the ad.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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Press Releases rank amongst the most inexpensive way to get free publicity for the business. Newspapers publish press releases as news and do not charge for the same. The catch is that newspapers do not publish all press releases. Newspapers publish press release only if the reporter thinks that the release has some newsworthy item that affects the general populace at large. Announcements such as new stock arrival, discount sale, or other sales pitch and blatant self-promotion do not make the cut for news releases.
The best approach towards a successful press release is to track important upcoming event and topics in vogue during the week, and making a story out of the same. A business selling emergency supplies could offer safety tips in the aftermath of an earthquake. A pet shop business could pitch a news release connected to an upcoming pet show in town. Business selling accounting software or helping people file taxes could create a story around April 15 when most people would start filing tax returns. An automobile service and repair center could bring out a news release announcing free brake inspection a day after a major car accident in the town. While success depends on giving the story an angle, spreading lies or being dishonest rarely helps.
Another approach is to develop surveys and publicize the results, with the press release also suggesting a course of action that supports the business.
The extent to which the press release gets a prominent place also depends on whether the day is a newsworthy one or not. A dull day might account for good coverage whereas a day when the local team has won the NBA championship would see the press release nixed.
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Seminars and Fairs
Another approach towards how to get the best media coverage is by hosting seminars. The seminars could be a simple talk by a subject expert related to the business product or service, held at a small conference hall with free attendance for all, or a big event with delegates invited across the industry. Such seminars make good scope for press releases, and the press covers big seminars anyway.
Attending trade fairs as a sponsor, co-sponsor, or even a participant is another way to generate free media publicity. The news of the fair will invariably carry the name and details of sponsors and participants, and this is without the obvious benefits that accrue from the actual fair itself.
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Features and Interviews
Appearing in mainstream newspapers, on television or on the radio boosts the credibility of a business dramatically. Most newspapers have a features section that covers businesses and interview entrepreneurs. The key is to look into the features calendar or the major newspapers, magazines, and television channels and try to get the reporter write an article or conduct an interview.
Success depends largely on having a good rapport with producers and editors who make content decision. Looking into the website of the media company for leads and following the journalists on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook helps.
The media coverage notwithstanding, success depends on how effectively the business leverages the resultant publicity.