How to Get Great Publicity for Your Growing Business

How do you get noticed by the media among all the businesses that are out there sharing their messages? I’ve spent the last 20 year working with both large and small businesses to help them get the attention of the right people at the right time. I think there are several easy steps to help you get and keep the attention of your best clients, employees, and potential partners. It easy to do but can be challenging to implement. It will take time, effort, and focus if you hope to create a business that people want to know about.

The first step is to create a simple message that is easy to understand and is even easier to share with others.  The biggest single problem my small clients face is that they try to be all things to all people thinking this will make them more attractive to the different types of media.  This all things to all people philosophy misses the connection to the right people and audience.  You can avoid this by thinking in advance what your audience needs from you and how you’ve helped people with similar challenges in the past. Share it with the sincere hope of serving others with the information you share.

The second step is to decide the right people to approach with what you have to offer. Take time to research the different options before you share your thinking with others across all media.  With all the information available today you should have no problem finding out what kind of stories the different publications want.  The first thing I work with clients on is identifying what publications their stakeholders read on a regular basis. Also, the kind of publication they are.  Are they magazines, blogs, or even video? Do they share material that is time sensitive or do they research a topic completely producing special reports that will be reviewed over and over again by their best readers. Knowing this will help you better understand what they are looking for in a contributor. For example, Market Leadership Journal focuses are writing things that can be read in a short time and then the reader can take action on what they read. The Journal is not about me or my contributors talking about academic exercises that have never been used in the real world and might not work for my entrepreneurial readers.  As editor, I keep things moving briskly and I will always introduce an expert before I share their material with you. As we continue evolving we will begin moving to video and it will have different needs than a weekly blog. When people ask to write for the Journal, I spend time trying to better understand what they want to share with our readers and why. You should keep an evolving spread sheet that has all of your media connections available so when you decide to pitch a story you know who and how you should share it. It also helps to be able to tell other editors who else you will be sharing it with. Exclusivity is a powerful tool to help you get your material published. I will share how to influence these professionals in a future blog.

The third step is to keep your eyes on the big picture. When you’re sharing your story with a potential editor, make sure you share it in a way that will excite them and their readers.  To be successful in getting attention for your business you must keep focused on the value that you’re creating for the reader.  If you can identify what their readers are going through on a daily basis, the more likely
you will be able to connect with them. You can’t imagine how quickly some people get into the weeds when pitching their idea.  Another great way to get published it to look at the editorial calendar and then share ideas that support the editors needs during key issues throughout the year.

The final idea is to try to create something that is newsworthy. Our most popular blogs came from current events and captured the mood of the readers. My single most read blog was about the death of Steve Jobs. It was shared and ranked in the top five of Google under death of Steve Jobs for several days after his passing.  Think of a hook in advance that will intrigue your potential readers. My hook was breaking his life lessons into Zen Koans and got additional exposure from my international audience.   They were quoted and sent people back to read the complete blog for the next 60 days. My recent blog on Neil Armstrong’s passing put his life into leadership lessons. It made his life easy to understand and also helped me position myself as leadership expert.  It provided me an opportunity to share my engineering background with clients who don’t always remember that my background includes work on the Space Shuttle and advanced robotics.

Keep these four ideas in mind and you can get great exposure for your business, too.

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