The 3 Best Strategies To Create PR-Worthy Content Publishers Will Love
Getting your business' name published online builds your reputation, establishes you as an authority, and brings new customers to you from other sources of web traffic. Traditional PR (public relations) like newspapers, TV news, and press releases don't have the same power. But don't worry, getting coverage across the web is easier than you think!
You already know the top strategies to find PR opportunities and how to pitch those opportunities. Now we're covering three top strategies to create PR-worthy content publishers will be eager to share.
Among 100+ PR experts, the top recommendation to get digital coverage was to give back.
"Do something newsworthy in the community" says Andrea Clement, President of Clem.co Media & Communications. "Watch your local news and read local news outlets to see what other businesses are doing to get featured on the news. Then figure out a way to do something similar or related to your business. For example, the news loves charity and 'feelgood' feature stories – if you are doing things to help your community (fundraising events, donating supplies or services, volunteering in the community, etc.), take video and/or write up a brief blurb about it and send it in to news reporters. You can find their contact info on the media websites' contact page (submit story ideas or tip line) or on social media."
This strategy is all about keeping your audience front-of-mind when creating content to publicise your business. Shel Horowitz of Going Beyond Sustainability gives us a hint: "Publishing a book or getting a promotion is not interesting to reporters. Instead, focus on 'the story behind the story': how what you're doing is improving lives, improving the planet, helping people find their miracle, etc."
She reminds us that people connect with stories, not statements.
Jeremy Harrison, Founder of Hustle Life Media, tells us how this strategy worked for him: "When I was starting, I was lucky enough the right situation presented itself to me. I had a paint supply business, and I needed to let everyone know about it. At that time, the community church required a fresh coat, so I offered to do it for free. It was an excellent way to demonstrate the quality of my products and help out the community at the same time. Luckily, it created buzz and generated business which earned me more than the cost of the paint. I was even mentioned in the local news and tabloid due to this. Who could ever resist a good story about helping the community?"
Other newsworthy strategies include running a creative fundraiser or supply drive, supporting public radio, planning a nonprofit event, donating goods or services, or starting a scholarship.
"There is a wide range of initiatives you can choose from," says Ryan Roller, Founder of Bead the Change. "For our company, we stayed on-brand by organising ocean clean ups. However, your company can get creative, and choose an initiative that is near and dear to your values."
2. Create Your Own Powerful Data
The second most cited method among PR experts for creating content was to create your own juicy data and results.
"One easy way to get published online is to create original data studies," says Meg Marrs, Founder of K9 of Mine. "Leverage your existing audience (whether via email or social media) and poll them. Ask them questions that you know are in high-demand or are especially relevant to your industry. Then, publish the results on your website and let news sources know that they can use your data, so long as they give you credit! Many news sources are hungry for stats and data to back up their arguments, and producing your own data studies is an easy way to get attention."
Original data worked for Jayson DeMers, CEO of EmailAnalytics. "I published a list of remote work statistics that is often cited and referenced in working-from-home-related articles, which are plentiful during this crisis when so many people are working from home!"
And don't let the word "data" intimidate you. You can collect qualitative data or stories, too!
During the COVID pandemic, Ben McLaughlan of Easy Mode Media says he's "collected 21 stories from travelers who are stuck, or have been stuck, away from their homes due to the outbreak. Many are in foreign countries unsure when they can return home. By being current and putting a unique spin on the article, insurance companies such as World Nomads mentioned this article on their podcast, and the publicity continues to roll in."
Eugene Romberg of We Buy Houses in Bay Area talks about his system using case studies: "Make a series of blog posts which detail what you do, how you do it, and how your product or service can be the solution for your client's issues. Here is the secret ingredient – you offer a free sample of your product or service to someone who is in need of it, then you create a post about their story. Write a post like this and add some quality photos and bam! Simple, low cost PR material that will help you get more customers, and get potential customers to understand and trust your company more as well."
3. Publish Interesting Stories
Finally, don't forget to publish your own content! Publications often browse well-engaged content on smaller sites to republish, and your pitches have a better chance of getting picked up if you already have traction on your own site.
"The best free way to generate PR for your small business (new or established) is to create compelling stories," says David Bakke of Dollarsanity. "Maybe you write a long-form article on how passionate you are about your industry and where that came from, or some personalised anecdotes of the challenges your business faced as it grew. The subject matter can really be anything as long as it garners attention. That's what journalists want and when they have this stuff, they can use it to promote your business."
The topic doesn't have to be directly related to your business, either, as long as it's something that you're passionate about. Maybe you've gotten to where you are with some killer productivity secrets or you stay sharp with yoga and you know exactly how yoga and business ownership align. Or perhaps you're learning to make candles and want to write about how to balance a new hobby and a budding business. These are all valid, insightful topics!
Daniel Sarath of Click Consult offers some advice on selecting a topic. "One of the ways our team determines whether a story is good or not is by applying the 'pub test'. Would you tell your friends about this content over a drink? For instance, the fact that electricity bills are going up might not be a conversation starter with your friends. However, the fact that you can claim back money on them if you're using more gas and electricity whilst working from home in lockdown is. This is a story we shared for one of our clients which ended up getting featured on three of the world's biggest news websites including the Independent and the Express."
Mix Up Your Medium
Explore different ways to present your content. While writing blog articles is a fabulous option, it's not the only one. Here are a few more for you to consider:
- Video (either YouTube, Facebook Live, or Instagram Live are great options)
- Customer testimonial interview videos
- Client case studies
- A webinar
- Virtual events
- Professional-quality photos
Make PR A Priority
To see consistent returns, work on your PR consistently. Investing time and energy in these areas can help you grow beyond your wildest dreams. So whether you're investing an hour a week or hiring help, don't forget about your PR strategy.
Those are three big strategies for creating irresistible, newsworthy content. You can reveal your heart for your community, compile your own powerful data, or publish about your passion.
Check out the first two articles in our PR series: The 10 Most Effective PR Strategies To Get Your Small Business Published Online and Lessons From PR Pros on Crafting the Perfect Pitch. Or, beef up your small business blog.