By Kristen Blessman, Vice President of Marketing, Goodwill Industries of Denver and CWCC Member
Achieving coverage in the local and/or national media is one of the most crucial assets to marketing your business in 2013. Especially in tough economic times, media relations can be one of the most cost-effective and affordable strategies in your overall marketing plan. In addition, obtaining media coverage can put you on an even playing field with businesses that have three times the marketing budget. In the world of media all businesses are created equal: all you need is a good, relevant story.
So how do you go about getting media coverage? There are a few tactics that can help ensure stories about your business are selected.
As I mentioned, you need to have a compelling story. If you have heartfelt stories about people or organizations you’ve helped, if you have an employee or customer with an amazing story or if you are in a business that is affected in some way by the economy or current events – these all qualify for good media prospects.
Encourage your staff and leadership to speak as an expert on topics they know a great deal about. If your CFO can talk about how to save money, or if your salesperson has great tactics for networking, these are all skill sets that others would be interested in hearing about. Simply alert news stations or newspapers that he or she is willing to share their expertise as it relates to current events. Just make sure to research what topics each publication or reporter usually writes about. And it wouldn’t hurt to start reading more publications or watching the news more often. You can generally get good ideas about how to pitch your business based on what others are doing.
Perhaps the best kept secret about media relations is that several studies show that people generally trust a news source more than they trust a paid advertisement. If it comes from a trusted source, odds are someone has likely looked into the background of the organization. At Goodwill we view media relations as one of the most important pieces of our overall marketing plan. It’s crucial that the public know about our nonprofit mission and the good we do so they will continue to support our organization.
While it may take time and effort to find newsworthy stories within your company or to establish relationships with reporters, it is absolutely the most cost-effective marketing tool available in 2013 to gain exposure and credibility for your company.
About Goodwill Industries of Denver
Goodwill Industries of Denver seeks to reverse the cycle of poverty through career preparation and skills training for at-risk youth, struggling families and individuals with disabilities. Through its thrift retail operations and community programs, Goodwill is ensuring that every individual in our community has the opportunity to live to their fullest potential and overcome barriers to success and self-sufficiency. Visit www.goodwilldenver.org to learn more.