• Felicity Cowie

3 ways media relations can benefit your business

Updated: Feb 18

The main reason businesses fail to get great headlines is that they don’t really know WHY they want to work with journalists. It often only becomes a priority when a competitor is suddenly featured prominently and people ask, ‘hey, why wasn’t that us?’ I’ve helped many clients from that starting point but, honestly, it’s a stressful way to work because the competitor is now ahead of you. It’s not uncommon to get a journalist responding to pitches with things like ‘we’ve already covered that.’ Here's 3 ways media relations can benefit a business to help you assess if this is right for you. 1. Think of media coverage as a turbo-charged testimonial. You can appear as either advertising or editorial. Obviously, advertising is paid for by you. However, editorial is not. So, when somebody sees a story about your business in the Financial Times, they know it's independent and credible. Journalists can choose anybody to work with so the fact they have chosen your business tells everybody you have something extra and trustworthy. The ultimate benefit of this coverage is that you can share it across your network. Put it on your website ‘As Featured In …’, post it on social media with words like ‘delighted to be joining the industry/national/global conversation about (the subject of the coverage) in this news story’ and attach a screenshot or link to it. All of this generates buzz from your employees and network because people find ‘being in the news’ or knowing somebody in the news exciting. In the metrics used to measure the value of media coverage, a positive news story about your company is worth 3 to 5 times the value of the equivalent amount of advertising. 2. If you are seeking funding opportunities and investors at some point in your future, getting media coverage as early as possible to insert into your pitch is going to put you in a strong negotiating position. It’s not just that investors will see you have been effectively backed by journalists, above your competitors. It’s that they will know in order to achieve that you have valuable skills they are seeking on top of a great business. 'VCs believe that better storytellers make better entrepreneurs', according to uber-VC Bill Gurley who has also said, 'As CEO you are the company’s number one salesperson and storyteller.' 3. If you can position yourself as a go-to contact, currently often called a thought leader, by appearing in media coverage, this can give you a lot more flexibility and resilience in your business. What I mean by this is that if you are wholly focused on getting one product or service into the market and that fails then your only option is to seek out more markets and hope you find your customers before your budget runs out. But if alongside this you are also getting recognised publicly as somebody with valuable ideas then you become bigger than your product which means you can test out several products until you find something that takes off.

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