Market To Mondays – Part 7

Welcome to the latest edition of our new weekly blog series, Market To Mondays. Each week, we will introduce you to a new group of people you should market to. We’ll tell you who they are, why you should market to them, and how you might get started.

Last week’s group was Your Competitor’s Customers.

Today’s Group = The Press

The press can be your best friends. Companies that know how to market to the press know that a product, a brand, or an entire industry can be made by good media coverage.

But it doesn’t happen on its own. You need to learn how to treat the press as a marketing audience all its own that needs your attention.

When you learn how to properly market to the press, you can get them to sell your story for you. Instead of spending millions of dollars buying ads, you get broadcast to the masses for free. And you get the benefit of third-party credibility on your side, helping to convince wary customers that you offer quality products or services.

But how?

Marketing to the press is a different animal entirely from marketing to potential customers. The companies that do it well have worked hard to get where they are.

The first option you have is to retain the services of an establish public relations firm. They have the relationships with media companies, writers, reporters, and editors that you covet. They can help you with strategy, refine your message, and do lots and lots of outreach. The only downside is that the right PR firm will cost you a good chunk of your marketing budget (maybe more than you have if you’re just starting out).

The second option is to go it on your own. This is much more difficult, but not impossible.

First, you can use an online distribution company like PRWeb to put out press releases. Tell the story of your company through these releases, but make sure what you’re putting out is actually news-worthy.

Then, host these releases in a “press section” on your website. It might be on your blog, or under News. Wherever it is, make it easy for members of the media to find if they come across your site.

Put someone in charge of press relations and provide their contact information with every release and clearly on the site. This gives members of the media someone to contact if they’re interested in learning more about you or your story.

Develop a list of publications, reporters, and bloggers in the space that cover your industry. Start reaching out to them with news related to your company. Establish a relationship with them and ask them what kinds of stories they are looking for.

Services like HARO and Cision allow you to monitor press inquiries and activities so that you know who needs stories, and what subjects are being covered. Again, this requires someone to stay on top of press relations and act quickly when opportunities come up.

No matter how you do it, developing a relationship with the press can be very beneficial to your marketing. When the press is selling your story, you don’t have to.

What group should we cover next? Now accepting submissions for audiences that we will cover in an upcoming “Market To Mondays” post. Submit your ideas via our contact page or in the comments section below.

Free Marketing Ideas Part 4 – Start a Press List

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Welcome to the latest edition of my new weekly blog series, “Free Marketing Ideas”. Each week I will identify and explain a simple marketing idea that you can employ at low or no cost. Last week’s topic was Create a Twitter Account.

This week’s topic: Start a Press List

As a company, you want to make news. When you make news, you essentially get free marketing. That’s the genius of PR, although PR is something you usually have to pay for.

In this case, we want to do it for free. And to start, you want to create a list of people to reach out to when your company has news to share. This list should include bloggers that cover topics related to your market or your industry, names of writers and editors of industry and trade magazines, local newspapers, and even broadcast news producers.

Start by making a list of all the outlets themselves. Use a simple Excel spreadsheet and just start listing every website, magazine, newspaper, and television station that you can find.

When you’re done, order them by who is most likely to be both reachable, and agreeable to working with you. Start small and work your way up. The next step is to add a contact name, email, and/or phone number for as many as you can. If you can get a physical address, even better. Most websites will have a press contact you can find by searching.  

Once you have that information on your spreadsheet, you have the foundations of a press database. You can choose to make contact immediately, introduce yourself and develop a relationship so that by the time you have news to share you already have a foot in the door. Or you can wait until there’s news, then reach out directly with that news. I’ll leave that choice to you.

Share your thoughts on this idea, and other free marketing ideas in the comments section below and keep the conversation going!