You could easily pay $10,000 for an advert in a magazine… you could also have an article published in the very same magazine for absolutely nothing. This is the beauty of PR and why it is a sensible choice over advertising for small and startup businesses.
Articles in magazines are read by your potential customers and are the opportunity to showcase your knowledge as an expert in certain topics and nowadays these opportunities are unbelievably available for companies and individuals to find themselves.
Anyone can have an article published in a trade magazine, beauty blog, lifestyle magazine, or anywhere for that matter and here’s how.
Do your research
Before you start contacting people, think about who you want to target. Getting the press coverage may be free, but your time certainly isn’t so make sure you target relevant publications that match what your company is trying to achieve.
Visit each publication’s website before you contact them. Ensure it fits with your messaging, your branding and if it is a good fit for your business to be linked to.
Research helps to check a publication will be the right match for your brand. Don’t have an embarrassing moment and ask to speak to the business news desk at a beauty blog. Spending even just a few minutes researching each person on your hit list before you make contact will be worth the time investment.
Friendly following
Find bloggers, editors and contributing writers of magazines you would love to published in and start following them on Twitter and Facebook. Keep an eye on what they tweet, share their articles, see what they’re up to, and keep an eye on what hashtags they are using often.
If they see you interacting with them and sharing their content they should remember your name when you get in touch to pitch your ideas to them as well as being a valuable way to keep up-to-date with what the industry is talking about.
Find a features list
This is a list of all the upcoming features a journalist or publication will be writing about in the near future. It can be as informal as a Word document or an email detailing a topics they will publish within the next few months.
Even as a small business you are able to contact these publications and ask if they can share their ‘features list’, or ‘forward features’ lists.
Stay professional
It’s very easy nowadays for someone to miss your email pitch so there is no harm in making the first contact with a telephone call. Using email only as a follow up is more personal and can make editors remember your name. You will find some people prefer only being contacted by email too, and that’s fine, go with whatever you feel is working best for you and them.
When you are on the phone with the editorial team ask them what they’re writing about but also, if you’re able to, maybe approach them with a few of your ideas. If you’re unsure of what articles you could provide at this stage then start by asking for their features list.
What now?
Once you’ve got a features list, have a good look through and see if there is anything there that you can contribute to. Perhaps you’re a wedding photographer and you see the title ‘how to create the perfect group photo on your wedding day without the cheese’. You can now get back in touch with the magazine and say you’re able to provide a quote for the article or better yet, offer to provide the whole piece for them.
Once a magazine confirms your article will be published, ask for their writing guidelines and deadlines. If they say yes to you, you need to get it to them in a format they work to and on time.
Imagine that. How amazing would that feel for your name to be in print? And it was all for free!
Connect with Kerri
Kerri Walker is a Public Relations and Marketing Consultant based in the UK. She manages the PR and marketing for entrepreneurs and is a PR coach to small businesses looking at raising their profile.
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