Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tip #218: Meet the Press: 5 Keys to Getting Media Coverage

Many business owners view the beginning of a new year as a time to relax after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but for candy makers it’s just the halfway mark when it comes to holiday prep. A couple major candy holidays are on the horizon, which makes it a great time to share new and exciting happenings with the local media. You can expect the media is seeking newsworthy stories, why not let your business be the headliner?

Even if it takes you a couple hours, a well-written press release can offer more return on investment than any paid advertising. But before you begin typing, here's some tips to ensure you’re giving reporters what they're looking for.

#1 Get Personal
Consider ways to weave in a human-interest story (e.g., a customer-success story or recognition for a long-time employee). Both reporters and their readers like stories about real people. If you can offer this, your press release is as good as gold.

#2 Just the Facts
 If you want to be taken seriously by the media, your writing should deliver the facts and explain why your news is relevant in an objective manner. As an overall rule, avoid subjective claims or marketing jargon such as “the best,” “revolutionary,” “magical.”

#3 Insert Quote Here
Back up the information with a good quote or two that further supports why the information is relevant from key players involved – this could be a company executive or even a customer excited about the news you’re sharing.

When requesting a quote, have an idea of what you want them to say and offer guidance to ensure the quote supports your story. Within a quote is the only place it is acceptable to use first person. Otherwise, leave “me” out of it!

#4 Wrap it Up
Reporters are busy and often on a tight deadline, so keep it short. It is best to limit yourself to one page. If you’re considering a second page, it’s possible you’ve lost your focus. Every line of your press release should be supporting your hook. If it’s not, let it go.

#5 Proofread!
Don’t underestimate the value of letting others proofread your writing. Nothing loses credibility faster than incorrect spelling and bad grammar.

If your high school English teacher isn’t available to proof your writing, a quick Google search will lead you to online proofreading tools like Ginger (gingersoftware.com). Ginger is a free proofing app that checks your grammar, features a built-in dictionary, translator and more – which can be streamlined through Microsoft Office, Google Chrome (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) and even your mobile devices.

Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.

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