So, you want some media coverage?

By Claire Cunningham - Director - Rockallwight PR

Many SMEs like the idea of seeing their business or product featured in the press. It’s great for the ego, as long as it’s a great story about your business. If you do decide you want media coverage, before you dive in and get in touch with the local paper or specialist magazine, it’s worth considering what outcome you really want to achieve. In short, an ego boost is not enough of a reason to engage with the press.

How do you want people to think or act differently as a result of reading your article? It may be that you just want to raise awareness. That’s great, as long as the people reading the article, are your audience. But what if you are an SME who supplies to oil rigs in Aberdeen and you just happen to be on an industrial estate in Gloucester? Is there ever a reason why featuring in the local paper might be useful for your business?

There are a few good reasons and as long as you know that it's unlikely that anyone from the oil and gas industry is going to buy your component, as a result of reading your local paper, that’s fine. In this example, you do employ local people and you do want to be seen putting something back into the community. Make sure your news story is about this and you will influence the right people. They are, potential future employees and local stakeholders who you want to keep on your side.

The point here is that news articles are not always the answer, yet people often plump for them, without really considering what they are trying to achieve and who they want to influence. By really considering your real-world outcome before embarking on engagement with the press, you are more likely to be successful.

If you approach a journalist without really knowing why you want to get your company in the paper, you also risk them picking up on this and not wanting to cover your story.

Knowing your outcomes at the start, can also help you to shape the story you want to see published. There’s a good chance that if your story has purpose and even a call to action for readers, a journalist is far more likely to engage with you.

Want to find out more about ways to engage with the press? Click here to see 10 top tips on media engagement.

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