Every business has a story – these key media strategies will help you tell yours

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Every business has a great story to tell. It doesn’t matter if you are a small family business with two coaches or a mid-size bus operator, a well-framed story in a press release can help you get media attention, better connections with new and existing customers. and increased awareness within the coach. the industry as one of the innovators behind it.

Why press releases are at the heart of your media strategy

From printing to the digital age, press releases provide a single source of truth for what a business means about every product, service or event it offers. They feed almost every positive news or social post you see. In a Global Agencies Study 2019, 85% of journalists said they had read a press release in the past 24 hours, and more than 30% used the information from the press release when writing their report. stories. So always treat your press release as an opportunity to communicate your exact message. They exist to tell a story – your story.

Build your nose for the news

Gaining positive coverage for your business means thinking a bit like a reporter. As you read and watch the news in your community and nationally, learn to spot news that has an impact on your customers and your community. For example, ongoing driver shortages during COVID-19 are affecting the entire coach industry. How is your business dealing with this problem? Do you keep the drivers on your team with ongoing safety training, good benefits and compensation? If so, it’s a story you can tell in a press release.

Patricia Plodzeen’s career in advertising and media relations spans decades, including 24 years at MCI.

Turn customer experiences into bigger stories

If customers are talking about a great trip you provided to them on their own social media, this is source material for a great customer service story for your business. To note Airbnb customer testimonial campaign. Create a press release to explain the value of your tours and group travel experience, highlighting any dialogue – with permission – that deals with service beyond expectations. Also, try to partner with your customers and leverage their media strategies. If you’re the exclusive carrier for your local bank’s travel club program, see if their marketing department would be willing to co-develop a story you can share. High-profile destination businesses are also of interest.

Don’t neglect your own story

“Permanent” subjects, such as the history of your company, your charitable work, the big contracts won, the purchasing new equipment and expanding roads can attract local media attention. Don’t ignore your business growth as a story.

How to write and use a press release

As with a news article, the most important parts of a press release are the headline and the “lead” – the first paragraph of the article. Good leads keep readers reading. PRNewswire, a new online subscription service used by public relations and journalism professionals, publishes hundreds of press releases daily. Check it out.

Research the fundamentals of a press release to learn its basic structure, which always ends with a company bio and contact information. Keep other things in mind:

  • Estimate. A good quote in the form of a deep and bold statement, explanation or prediction from a leader will add credibility to your post and can also land in the headline, headline or caption of a leader. photo of a journalist. This means the audience is more likely to see it.
  • Visuals. Remember to distribute JPG photos with relevant captions or infographics, prepared in advance to accompany the post. Think about it even if you invite the media to an event in a few days.
  • Events and Awards. Take advantage of business, culture and industry award nominations for your business, drivers and staff. Issuing a press release when you win them boosts your advertising efforts and your reputation in your community.
  • Paid exhibition. More and more local business newspapers, television and radio programs are offering what are called paid media opportunities. In return for a fee, you can use the content of your press release to make it an article over which you have control.

Media contacts. Press releases have to go somewhere. Create a contact list of target journalists at the local, state, or national level (depending on your business) to receive your releases. After emailing the version to contacts (as discussed in this recent B&MN article), follow up with the media or reporter over the phone to establish a relationship and answer questions. Be helpful – not pushy.

Don’t neglect your own social networks. Make sure to post your releases on your own social media channels for exposure to your primary audience.

One last thing. If you don’t feel comfortable writing your own releases or creating your own media strategy, ask for help. Public relations professionals work for companies of all sizes.

Patricia Plodzeen’s career in advertising and media relations spans decades, including 24 years at MCI. She supports industry clients, including Vicki Bowman’s VB Group, which provides industry-wide marketing, events and association management services. Contact Pat at [email protected].


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