By Chuck and Sue DeFiore
The media (newspaper, radio, television) can be of enormous help to the small and home based business. So, it is very important that you develop a relationship with them.
When you first start your business, inform your local newspaper by using a press release that you are starting a new business. Almost all newspapers have a section which announces new businesses. So check out that section, call the newspaper and ask who you would send your release to and in what format they want the information.
When your business is doing something special for the community be sure to inform the media. Newspapers and radio stations love to get local stories. Just be sure it is newsworthy, and don't overuse it. Always check to see who to send your information to and what format they need. Never blindly send out a release.
Are there trade magazines in your business area? If so, do up a release on your new business. Or if you are an existing business, send a press release on a new product or service.
Another way to work with the media is to write a column. Go to a local paper, no matter how small, and offer to write a column on your area of expertise or on business in general. Don't ask to be paid for it, and promise not to promote your company. You won't need to - your byline, words (and maybe even photograph) will do that.
Just recently we did a review for a former newspaper publisher on his book on how to write a press release and generally dealing with the media. He's promised us a finished copy. Once we get it and re-read it, we'll let you know more.
So develop a relationship with the media, and watch your business soar.
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