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Gaining media coverage for your business is a great way to raise your brand awareness, communicate with your customers and promote your business.

In order to gain media coverage you need to be able to find interesting stories about your business and share them in an appealing way with journalists.

Not all stories are obvious. Many people may wonder why a journalist would be interested in writing about their business or industry. All businesses have stories, expertise or advice to share. The trick is to find out what the stories are and then package them in an interesting way to catch the attention of a journalist.

Here are seven questions you can ask to find the stories within your business:

1.     What are the trends in your industry? Every industry goes through times of growth, cutbacks or evolves and changes in some way. When these situations arise put yourself forward as a spokesperson to comment on these topics. Has a new technology just come out that will change how you do business? Put yourself forward to journalists to discuss the impact it will have on your industry. If you do this consistently journalists are more likely to see you as an industry expert and come to you for comment. 

2.     What do your customers want to know? Listen to customer feedback and find out what your customers want to know about your industry. You could also do some research into the interests of your customers. This information will help you choose topics and story angles to pitch to a journalist which your target audience will want to read.   

3.     What has your business achieved? Think about your business’ current achievements and tell relevant journalists about them. For example, you may have signed five new clients or won an award. Journalists won’t be interested in mundane activities, such as employee of the month, but they will care if it is interesting and a big deal. Make sure your achievement is current and newsworthy before you send it to a journalist.

4.     What is different about your business? What are you offering that no other business is or how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Journalists are always looking for something different or unique. This could be about how you came to build the business, the products or services you offer or how you offer them. Also include what this means for the end-user, what benefits do they gain from your offerings?

5.     What is new in your business? There is a reason it is called news, journalists are interested in what is new. If you launched a new product, don’t wait a week to tell journalists about it, spread the word before, or as, it happens.

6.     Have you overcome adversity? Everyone loves a story about how someone has overcome a problem and succeeded despite setbacks. Did you lose investors at the last minute or did a competitor move in next door? How did you overcome this problem and continue to succeed in your business venture? Make sure to include how you overcame the problem so the audience can potentially learn from your experiences. 

7.     Can evergreen stories be tied to your business? Evergreen stories are those that come around every year, such as Christmas, tax time and school holidays. Many journalists look for stories relating to the time of year. Think about the ways you can link yourself to an event like this. For example an accountant could talk about what businesses need to do in the lead-up to tax time or a child-care centre could talk about ways to entertain children during school holidays.

Once you have answered these questions and found your stories, start sharing them with the appropriate journalists. Find the journalist, publication, TV or radio show that is interested in the topic and pitch your story idea to them.

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Catriona Pollard

Catriona Pollard

Catriona Pollard is the founder and director of CP Communications, one of the most respected and innovative boutique PR and social media agencies. She is co-founder of Social Media Women, teaches a PR course she designed and writes the popular blog, Public Relations Sydney. Catriona regularly shares her expertise through articles and presentations to assist businesses grow and thrive by effectively using PR and social media. You can find Catriona on: Blog: www.PublicRelationsSydney.com.au Twitter: @catrionapollard Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PublicRelationsTips Facebook: www.facebook.com/cpcommunications

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