I wrote a blog entry recently – “Shout! Scream! Yell! Your Company Depends On It!” – that focuses on the need to make people aware of your existence if you want them to hear your message. What better way is there for a small business to get their existence noticed than to gain free press.
In today’s weekly roundup, we’re going to focus on tools and ways to find reporters and bloggers and how to make yourself known to them – all in the name of gaining free press for your small business.
First, when you’re going after free press, let’s make sure you understand how to approach the reporters and maximize your opportunity to be included as a source. Also, what are some ways – other than the services below – to get mentioned in the press?
And how about a tool to help you come up with a great headline for news releases and blog articles? Check out the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. Your headline will be analyzed and scored based on the total number of EMV words it has in relation to the total number of words it contains.
Now, how about some tools that will help you get free press? The reporters and bloggers on most of these sites do not focus on a single industry – or even just business. They run the gamut from breaking news, to entertainment, to social, to technology, to reviews, to just about anything you could think of. Some example requests are: “Yahoo! News seeks experts re: carbon footprint of luxury mega-yachts”, ” International Business Times seeks experts re: impact of TeamUSA win on marketing, advertising:”, and “Christian Science Monitor seeks experts, Malibu residents re: impact of Airbnb on communities:” Most of the services below are free.
Free Press Tools
Click on any of the headers below to visit the site.
Now owned by Vocus (also an owner of PRWeb), and originally set up as a Facebook group in 2008, Help A Reporter (formerly HARO) is one of the longest running sites that hooks reporters up to sources. When you sign up for the site, you enter in some information about yourself and the types of articles you can contribute to. On a daily basis, you’ll receive e-mail updates of articles that reporters are working on and have the opportunity to offer yourself as a source. You’ll find organizations such as AP, ABC and FOX using Help A Reporter.
Profnet Connect is very similar to Help A Reporter, but owned by PRWeb’s competitor PRNewswire. Profnet has been around in one form or another since 1992 and counts the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and other major news outlets as users.
My Local Reporter is a fee based service (you get free press, but you have to pay to find it) that differs from standard press release outlets. You submit your news in a succinct format, select local reporters who might be interested, enter your pitch and then the service will take care of contacting the reporters and encouraging them to contact you back.
Pretty much the same as Help a Reporter and Profnet, you should really be signed up for all of them as different reporters use different services. You need to take advantage of every opportunity you can to get free press, and all of these sites publish requests on a very frequent basis.
Pitching Notes is a bit different from the other resources above as it allows reporters to find you in a searchable database. More importantly, it lets you access “reviews” of reporters – what kinds of stories they like, how they like to be pitched, if they like to name their sources or if they prefer to just use their sources for background (and not name them). It’s a site that gives public relations pros the chance to talk about their specific experiences with specific journalists. You need to submit your own “review” of a reporter in order to gain access to this part of their system, but it may give you a leg up when trying to get your story published.
Free press is a great opportunity to get your name out there and to be recognized as a subject matter expert. What other resources are out there to help make this happen?
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