March 12, 2024

How to pitch to the media as a small business

Jason Burg | Advisor (He/Him)

How to pitch to the media as a small business

You have a business and you want the world to know about it. But how do you get your story out to the millions (we can be ambitious, right?) of potential customers and clients waiting to hear all about you and the ways your biz is going to make life easier for them? Pitching to the media as a small business can be a great way—and sometimes necessary way—to generate publicity and increase the visibility of your business. The trick then is knowing the media outlets your customers follow, developing a strong story, and putting together a great pitch to get in.

But how do you do that? Check out these tips to help you pitch to the media as a small business and get your story out there to the right people.

  1. Research: Start by researching relevant media outlets that cover topics related to your business and are speaking to people like your customers or clients. And even though digital outlets are where it’s at these days, don’t overlook newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and TV/radio shows that align with your goals, industry, or target audience.
  2. Craft a compelling story: You will never get a pitch accepted if you don't develop a compelling story angle that will resonate with the audience of the media outlet you're targeting. As you do this, think about what makes your business unique. Are there any recent achievements, cool new products/services, an impactful community involvement, or interesting trends you can tap into? If so, work those into the story you're pitching and write a strong hook to catch the reader's attention.
  3. Personalize your media pitch: If needing a compelling story is the first thing you need, tailoring your pitch to each media outlet or journalist you're contacting is the second. No generic pitches! Show the person or media outlet you're pitching you've done your homework by referencing their previous work or explaining why your story would be of interest to their audience.
  4. Write a clear and concise pitch: Keep your pitch brief and to the point. Start with a catchy subject line or headline and follow it with a concise summary of your story angle. Include relevant details such as who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  5. Include visual assets: If it makes sense (and it very often does), include visuals with you pitch. These can be things like  high-resolution images, infographics, or videos that enhance your story and make it more visually appealing. Doing this also gives the person evaluating your pitch pretty much everything they need to make a decision.
  6. Follow up: After you pitch your small business to the media, follow up with the journalist or editor if you don't hear back within a reasonable timeframe (not the next day...give it a couple because you don't want to seem desperate). Be polite and respectful, and offer to provide any additional information they might need.
  7. Make yourself available for interviews: If a journalist shows interest in your pitch, be responsive and available for interviews. Make it easy for them to schedule a meeting or call with you and do your very best to accommodate their deadlines.
  8. Work to build relationships and your media contacts: Building relationships with journalists and media professionals can increase your chances of getting coverage in the future because once a journalist believes in what you're doing and supports your brand, they'll be way more open to your future pitches. And when you find a relationship like this, you’ll want to keep that relationship going strong. Stay in touch, provide them with valuable insights or resources, and be a reliable source of information within your industry.
  9. Monitor your media coverage: Once your story is published or aired, monitor the coverage and try to amplify it by sharing it on your own marketing channels (website, social media, email newsletter, etc.). Thank the journalist or media outlet for featuring your business and continue to nurture the relationship.

As a small businesses owner, you need all the help and support you can get. Getting your stories into the media is a massive “win” for driving awareness about your business and getting the social proof you need to win new customers. The best part about working some PR into your marketing? Pitching to the media is generally free! And the exposure you get to a large audience that you didn’t have to pay for? That’s the best kind of exposure. By learning how to pitch to the media as a small business, you can share your story, build your brand, and secure valuable media coverage that will have a targeted reach you can bank on.

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