The web is rife with amateur and professional journalists writing stories about companies just like yours—so why can’t you get that kind of exposure? Unless you’re planning on spending upwards of $4,000 a month to hire an outside PR company or consultant, getting your brand mentioned in stories across the web (and print publications) can be performed organically.
But don’t get started unless you’re armed with the right tools of the trade. The old saying “Any press is good press” doesn’t hold water in the era of the independent journalist. Publications like Mashable and Huffington Post simply don’t work under the same auspices of traditional journalism.
01. Identify trade publications and blogs and make a list.
You’re not the only one who is passionate about your industry, and that’s why there are online and print publications already in existence that are dedicated to your trade. For instance, if you sell candy, publications like Candy Industry and blogs like “Candy Blog” are right up your alley. Candy enthusiasts and professionals everywhere are keeping up-to-date on the latest in candy news. Make a list of trade publications and relevant contacts.
02. Find journalists at news publications that cover your beat.
Ever picture your brand featured in the New York Times? It’s difficult to do, but it definitely isn’t out of reach. If you’re targeting top-tier, nationally distributed media outlets, you need to find the right reporter or editor to pitch your story to. Search websites of publications like USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Mashable to find the right contacts to cover your story.
03. Local publications are itching for success stories.
If you’re based in a major market like Chicago or New York, you have a great opportunity to find locally based publications that want to feature local businesses just like yours. If you’re in Chicago, for instance, find community business editors and reporters at publications like the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, Chicago Sun Times and Metromix Chicago.
04. Entrepreneur and start-up beats are great places to get ink.
You’re an entrepreneur in the middle of tough economic times, and you’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into your business. Publications like Entrepreneur and Startup Beat are dedicated to recognizing companies just like yours and sharing your story as an inspiration to other entrepreneurs.
05. Competitions and award programs give you credibility.
Think you’re growing faster than the competition? The Inc. 500|5000 is just one of hundreds of ways to gain recognition for the hard work and dedication of you and your team. Look for trade publications that recognize the best in your industry.