I had the pleasure of interviewing a lady named Sue Gardiner this week who is a specialist in generating free publicity for mainly a few select small and medium sized businesses.
Being an ex-journalist, Sue has some really good insights and perspectives on what goes on in the media rooms when the press releases hit. So she knows what is going to work and what isn’t.
Her take on things is that right now, and over the next 6 or so weeks is a great time for small business franchise owners to generate some potentially lucrative free local publicity.
The reason for this is that a whole bunch of the normal news ‘channels’ that the media uses throughout the year to fill it with stories, are shut down. Parliament is in recess so you have no politicians chattering every night on the news and filling the paper, the football season is over, school is out, and activity generally is gearing down so a lot of the stories that spin off all of this are gone – so the news services need to look a lot wider to fill their news broadcasts and papers.
Your Opportunity to Get Noticed
You should be trying to take advantage of the space left and grab some coverage for your business.
Firstly, Sue’s advice is to basically have a go as so many talk about wanting some PR for their business but don’t really take action to make it happen. Trying once is not enough, you have to be persistent.
Secondly, have an ‘angle’. The fact that you serve great coffee, bake tasty bread, or mow the best lawns in town for example, is not newsworthy. So, short of having an event like winning an award, or something happening out of the ordinary, you need to come up with an angle that is worth reporting on. Now is a great time of year to find that angle!
Your Publicity Angle
Cast your mind back to last year and just think of the number of Christmas and New Year related stories you saw or read. Sue made a great point that the role of the media is to report and reflect on what is happening in culture and society at the time – the festive season and christmas spirit is now…so that is newsworthy.
Maybe you are taking your whole team christmas caroling, or baking product for charities on christmas and you have been doing it for years, placing a christmas wish tree for disadvantaged children in your store, or adding a Christmas present to the value of $X to be opened on Christmas day with every widget bought!
The angles and possibilities are endless so its time to be creative. It is the perfect time of year to introduce yourself and develop a relationship with your local paper and media. You can then build on this going forward and grow your business’ profile at the same time.