Communications Adaptation to the US Market
NUMA mentor Bethany Hill recently delivered a publicity primer for our startups looking to fast track their presence in the U.S. market. Below I’ve written up some of the most valuable tidbits shared that you can use to publicize your expansion into the U.S.
Let’s start with the basics
On a basic level, there are four different types of media that you can use to reach your target audience.
Paid = Online ads, subway ads, sponsoring an event, video content, TV Sport
Earned = Stories written by journalists
Social = FB, Twitter, Instagram
Owned = Creation of your own content
While paid, social and owned media seem like accessible channels to utilize, earned media can seem daunting to those unfamiliar with the process of earning coverage. Furthermore, the complexity of measuring the direct ROI of earned media leads many new to marketing to forego the lengthy process.
Why would I want earned media?
Most senior marketers believe in the value of earned media and rate it as one of the most effective forms of marketing. Earned media lends your business increased credibility and brand awareness. Key types of earned media include:
Not every type of article may be right for your company. Most likely, you will want to think about how to best go about establishing leadership in your field and target articles that assist you in doing so.
How do we get there?
First make sure you have a real story that journalists will want to write about. Follow relevant journalists and read what they are writing about your industry and competitors. Journalists write with focus. Seek to understand what they are interested in before asking them to look into writing about your product.
Once you feel confident you have a story and a few journalists who could be interested, there is still a ways to go. How do you catch the interest of journalists and get them to actually write about your product? Here are a couple industry practices you should keep in mind before reaching out:
Personalize — You’ve done your research so make sure the journalists know. Highlight why they are your top choice to write about your company.
Time it right — Journalists avoid writing about products in development. Too often have they been burned by crowdfunding products that never came to fruition. Not only must you plan to reach out at the correct timing of your product development cycle, but you also must make sure that you reach out during the right time of year. Nobody wants to write or release a story on December 25th or on January 1st.
Catch attention — Provide a relevant hook. Journalists frequently think in terms of headlines and if you can come up with an attention grabbing headline for your story, you’ll do your case for publicity a favor.
Use metrics — Your company likely has proprietary data and if you are willing to share it, journalists and the general population may be interested in the unique insights you can provide. Even better, don’t just send your data but highlight its importance!
You can use these tips to connect with journalists and leverage your relationship to get media coverage. Earned media is valuable but hard to come by. Whether or not a journalist agrees to write a story about your company, focus on building relationships that may support you in the long-run. Even if your story isn’t a good fit right now, if you have a strong relationship you may be able to connect in the future. Good luck!
If you have success with these methods or other tips and tricks when it comes to earning media, please share them with us. We are also always looking for other topics that are of importance to you and your company, feel free to reach out and share your thoughts.