Promoting your business

Making news is free advertising.

Promoting your product or business requires a marketing strategy. Often this strategy includes some form of advertising. Newspaper, radio or television advertising can be a costly expense especially for a start-up business. One method of free advertising is to have your business highlighted in a news feature.

There are many things that can make your business newsworthy. Often newspapers will run stories on new businesses that have started in the community. Business expansions or new product offerings also may be of interest to the local media.

Sponsoring some type of community event, such as a contest, related to the business also attracts the attention of the media. Cook-offs are popular and garner publicity before and after the event that can focus attention on your business.

Achieving special certification, like Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) verification, that sets your business apart from others is news. Winning an award or special recognition also makes for a good story.

Offer to share your expertise and give talks or presentations to local groups or through the libraries or community centers. Potential customers can learn about your business through these venues, and the events often become news features.

It is important to remember that you need to toot your own horn about what makes your product or business newsworthy. Take an active role in cultivating relationships with media contacts. Write press releases and submit the stories to media outlets. Often one story can lead to more as the media today is well connected. A simple press release that runs in one publication can be picked up by other media sources. This is especially true of the electronic media.

Don’t despair if you have a slim advertising budget. There are many opportunities to make news about your business and garner the attention of potential customers.

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