Have you ever considered promoting your floristry business in the local newspaper? If you have but are not sure that you have anything newsworthy enough for the papers to report on, then please think again. Look at these three local paper stories I found about florists:
Florist Newspaper Story 1: Florists Get Busy on Mother’s Day
Florist Newspaper Story 2: Florist Likes Her Job
Florist Newspaper Story 3: Florist Shop Moves (as did the web page, so no link anymore more, but you get the picture right?)
Although these are not Australian papers, they are basically the same thing as we have here and as you can see, there’s not much to the stories.
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However, even though these stories lack substance, they would certainly have had promotional value for the businesses and I reckon that – if you try hard enough – you can also enjoy some promotional exposure in your local newspaper. To find out how, read on!
Why Get Media Coverage for Your Floristry Business?
Unlike advertising, which consumers regard, rightfully, with suspicion, newspaper editorial content is generally regarded as more credible.
Everybody says their own business is the best but what counts is when somebody else gives you the thumbs up. Even though it’s unlikely that you’ll get a purely promotional article published, media coverage is a great way to get an implied endorsement, .
But how to get media coverage for your business? Well, it will take some work, so why not challenge yourself to give it a try during the slower winter months?
There are three major components to your strategy:
1. Do Your Research
2. Tell a Story
3. Learn How to Make a Press Release
1. Do Your Research
Let’s focus on getting an article published about your business in the local community newspaper.
The first bit of research is just to notice that every week they actually do feature businesses, events or local initiatives of some description – so you know they have space allocated for this. This means you should relax and realise that by providing the newspaper with a story you are in fact helping them to “feed the machine”. Can you imagine how hard it gets to come up with written content every week? Believe me it isn’t always easy! Take some time to notice what kind of stories these papers publish. Generally it is something community orientated with a “human interest” angle.
Now take a step back and understand a vital truth: Journalists do not run around the place with a microphone and camera hunting for the next shocking scoop – at least certainly not those in charge of populating the “human interest” or business sections of these local style papers.
What they do is receive press releases and choose those which they feel to be newsworthy enough to follow up on.
And guess what? A lot of the smaller, one-or-two-paragraph-long articles you see published? They are often printed verbatim straight from the press release!
So here’s what you need to do to get an article published about your floristry business. Call and ask the receptionist if they have any specific submission guidelines (or check the paper itself or their website). Find out exactlywho you need to contact and exactly how they prefer to be approached. One journalist may prefer a short introductory email, another may prefer to be emailed a full press release off the bat.
Whatever you do – do not directly cold-call the journalist on the phone all excited about having a story published about your fabulous business. You may be excited but believe me, these guys are not. Journalists are often pretty jaded because they are constantly being approached by people who want press coverage for their pet project. Don’t go in to this like a naive little puppy, because the grumpy old dog is just going to get annoyed and growl at you. Play it cool and you’ll go far.
Next week in Part 2: Step 2 – How to tell a story worth publishing and Step 3 – How to construct a press release.
Written by Seamus – Tesselaar’s website manager and marketing nerd.
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