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October 23, 2020 —

5 tips on getting press for your small business

91 Magazine editor Caroline Rowland shares 5 top tips on how to your small business featured in the press
91 Magazine editor Caroline Rowland
Caroline Rowland
Editor,
91 Magazine
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Having worked in media and publishing for around 15 years, I am regularly asked about the best way to get your brand featured in the press. For some people it comes naturally or maybe they have some experience of the industry, but for many small business owners, it is a world they know little about, or are even a little scared of. It’s totally understandable and we all need to play to our strengths, but if you are keen to get some publicity for your brand in traditional media like magazines and newspapers, then there are lots of things you can implement within your small business that will help and that will actually benefit other areas of your business in the process.

Below are five of my favourite tips to get you started, but I dive into all aspects of how to get noticed and featured in the press in this 90 minute Creative Session. It is just £39 to purchase the replay and you are able to rewatch as often as you like and rewind / fast forward etc. The full session looks at various things you can do to get noticed, how to use your brand imagery to your advantage, creating press releases and strategies for approaching editors and journalists and much more.

During the pandemic lockdown it was impossible for us to commission photoshoots. Luckily, Freedom Apothecary had lots of lovely existing images, so we were able to feature their beautiful store in Volume 10.
During the pandemic lockdown it was impossible for us to commission photoshoots. Luckily, Freedom Apothecary had lots of lovely existing images, so we were able to feature their beautiful store in Volume 10.

TIP 1: HAVE EXCELLENT BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY

This is my number one tip for any small business owner – regardless of whether you are aiming to gain press coverage or not. In our world of online business and Instagram obsession, it is your imagery that catches people’s attention before they even read anything about you. That might be a potential customer, a buyer, a magazine editor or even an investor. Don’t underestimate the power of great photography. Phone cameras are great and are good for certain types of shot (I generally use mine for flat lays) but investing in a proper camera is well worth it. Or, if you strongly believe that even the world’s best camera in your hands will not produce good images, then instead invest in the services of a photographer. It may seem like a big outlay in the beginning, but I truly believe it is worth it in the long run.

Share more than just product pics - show behind the scenes, work in progress, etc.
Share more than just product pics – show behind the scenes, work in progress, etc.

TIP 2: TELL YOUR STORY

This is imperative for small business owners and it is also what makes us more interesting than the big corporate brands. Tell your story everywhere – to people you meet (you never know who they might go on to tell), on your website and through your social media. Use your images to tell your story, too. I see many brands who purely just post images of their products, or a restaurant that only posts pictures of their food. Share more of the story – the people behind it, the space you work in, the things that inspire you. Remember, journalists are always looking for a story, so make sure you make it known.

Resist the urge to tag every publication you know of in the hope they might contact you!
Resist the urge to tag every publication you know of in the hope they might contact you!

TIP 3: DON’T TAG LOTS OF MAGAZINES IN YOUR PHOTOS

This one may just be a personal bug bear of mine, but often I see brands who tag maybe 10 of more magazines into their photos, I guess in the hope that they will notice them and feature them. Perhaps this was advice given out by some social media guru at some point, but personally for me, this is not a good tactic. Us magazine editors like to feel loved too(!), but this strategy kind of says that you don’t care which magazine you get featured in, any will do. Generally, a more tailored approach works much better, which leads me to my next point…

Our content is less about product and more about spaces, whereas other magazines run lots of product / shopping style features.
Our content is less about product and more about spaces, whereas other magazines run lots of product / shopping style features.

TIP 4: DO YOUR RESEARCH

There are lots of magazines out there on the market, even within the various niches, but they are all very different. You may be happy to gain any kind of press in any magazine, and that is absolutely fine and the right way to think about it, BUT firstly you need to find out which titles are the best fit for your brand. Are their readers your potential customers? Does what you sell actually fit with the kind of thing they usually feature? This is mainly because you don’t want to waste your precious time approaching the wrong publications who are probably never going to feature your work. We all have target audiences so find the publications whose readers are in line with the type of people who are likely to buy from you or use your services.

Some magazines or newspapers are working to weekly or monthly deadlines and might request images/information at the last minute.
Some magazines or newspapers are working to weekly or monthly deadlines and might request images/information at the last minute.

TIP 5: HAVE MEDIA ASSETS READILY AVAILABLE

Again, this is something that will make your life much easier in the long run. Simply having a few folders of high res images on Dropbox or Google Drive means if you get approached by a journalist whose on a lunchtime deadline and would like to include one of your product pictures, you can quickly and efficiently fire over a download link to them. Going back to tip no. 2, it is also useful to have your story and brand information available either via a link (perhaps just to your about page) or as a document that you can also save to your assets folder. Therefore this basic information is easily accessed for a writer who may need to quickly write up a segment about you.

I do hope these tips are useful – but there is SO much more to consider, which I cover fully in the Creative Session, so do check it out! Link below…

CREATIVE SESSION: GET YOUR INDIE BRAND NOTICED & FEATURED IN THE PRESS with 91 Magazine editor Caroline Rowland

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