The Store | Managing Publicity
How to Get Free Media Coverage
Tie into news stories, such as synthetic diamonds or the Academy Awards
By Alan J. Braverman
Actively pursuing free media coverage is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate interest in you and your business. A few things to do now to prepare for this opportunity:
Develop press materials. A press kit doesnt have to be designed and printed professionally, but it does have to be well-written and succinct. Include a company background, a fact sheet or timeline on your store, biographical material on the principals, reprints of past media coverage and recent press releases. Remember, a press kit isnt an ad or marketing brochure be direct, clear and brief. Save the romance for ads and brochures.
Tie your press releases to current events. Make sure what you write about is newsworthy for the medium that will receive it reporters will be interested only if its relevant, timely and of interest. How about a report after the Academy Awards noting jewelry trends that reflect your merchandise mix?
Create a local media contact list. Find out who at your local business journal covers the jewelry industry or retailing. Does your local newspaper have a reporter whod be interested in what you have to say? Local broadcast outlets can be harder, especially if youre in a larger media market. Try to note the reporter at local TV and radio stations who covers consumer products, trends or lifestyle issues.
Pick one journalist on your media list and send your press kit. A week later send an e-mail introducing yourself again and refer to your press kit. Pitch your local angle on a story thats been in the news, perhaps the differences between natural diamonds and laboratory-grown gems and how consumers can protect themselves. If the reporter seems interested, suggest a cup of coffee at a local shop to give him or her the details. The idea is to become top-of-mind for that reporter so when jewelry stories come up, he or she thinks of you as an expert.
Be persistent, but polite. Stay in touch with your media contacts. As trends begin to emerge or news breaks that you can comment on, send a follow-up e-mail reminding reporters youre available. If the holiday buying season is just around the corner and you can discuss trends, a well-timed e-mail or telephone call could get you quoted.
||After an awards show, send a press release to your local newspaper noting the jewelry trends and including photos of similar items available in your store. Here, Emmy Rossum, the young star of the film Phantom of the Opera, appears at the Golden Globe awards in January wearing a diamond bracelet (a hot trend) and emerald earrings (green is fashion-forward) from Harry Winston.
Alan J. Braverman of Braverman Communications, Spring Valley, NY, specializes in corporate, trade and business-to-business public relations, media relations and crisis communications in various industries. Contact him at (917) 873-4709, Alan@BravermanInc.com.