CLINTON, N.J. – Businesses seeking press coverage should focus on how their company, product or service provides benefits to the community, a Pittstown public relations consultant advised attendees during the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce leads exchange meeting at the Holiday Inn Clinton.
“Journalists are very busy people and generally know exactly the type of stories they are interested in covering,” said Fred Feiner, President of Yankee Public Relations. “Your first question should be how does my product or service affect people? If you can answer this question in a compelling way, you are home free. That said, not every company is going to change people’s lives, particularly those focused on business-to-business sales, but you can still receive publicity.”
Feiner, who has 25 years of experience providing communications services and launched his firm eight years ago, suggested that businesses consider the following opportunities:
- Good deeds equal good PR. Publicize volunteer and philanthropic activities.
- Become an educator by informing the public about issues that are relevant to people in the community that can link back to business opportunities, such as seasonal health and home ownership topics.
- Tell the press about your success stories with real people in the community and how your business impacted their lives.
- Get recognition for your expertise by writing articles in the business and trade press and publicizing awards.
“If there is a compelling human interest story connected to the formation of your business, you should definitely find ways to tell that story,” Feiner said. “It’s important to tell your story in a consistent and professional way that brings positive name recognition for your company. Public relations is part of your marketing toolkit and, as with any form of marketing, repetition is the key. When done right, public relations can be very effective for businesses because the public tends to value positive press coverage because it is coming from media outlets they trust.”
A former journalist, Feiner encouraged small and micro-sized businesses that do not have the budget for public relations to consider telling their story in the press on their own, although they should weigh the costs of using outside help versus the value of their time. For these companies and organizations, he suggested:
- Keep it simple: remember the 5 Ws – who, what, when, where and why.
- Never overstate things. Be objective. Don’t make it seem like you have invented the wheel.
- Remember that reporters and editors are very busy people and they are most likely to print your article if it is error free. Write in short concise sentences, check all of your facts, review spelling and grammar, triple check the press release for mistakes.
- Include a photo. A picture is worth a thousand words. If your article doesn’t get published, maybe the photo will. Make sure the photo is good quality, but try to keep the size below 1MB if sending by email.
“Your best chance for success with the media is to make the journalist’s job easy,” he said. “Do a little research to see the types of stories reporters and media outlets are interested in before sending your press release. Give journalists something they can use and you are likely to have many successful press outreach initiatives in the future.”
For the complete list of tips Feiner provided to attendees, visit http://yankeepr.com/advice---tips.
Feiner formed Yankee Public Relations in 2008 and has more than 25 years of experience helping clients achieve business development objectives. He has worked extensively in the banking, biotechnology, construction, development, higher education, finance, healthcare, non-profit, pharmaceutical and real estate investment industries.
Feiner received a B.A. in Journalism from Rutgers University and an M.P.A. from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. An Alexandria Township resident, he is a member of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and the Business Marketing Association. For more information on Yankee Public Relations, visit www.yankeepr.com or call 908-425-4878.