Growing your business through free publicity

by Rowland

Published on
July 21, 2020

In the current COVID-19 media landscape, it has become increasingly difficult to navigate “free publicity”. Not only has the pandemic dominated the content we see, but the economic crisis has also resulted in job cuts, meaning less journalists on the ground — less resources to take photos, conduct interviews and write stories. Yet our media consumption is higher than ever.

There is often a lot of work behind-the-scenes that goes into building a great story worth sharing — so whether it’s an employee’s time, a paid consultant, or a pay-for-play, free publicity still costs.

So how do you share your story through the media? And how do you know if the journalist — who is increasingly stretched — will even be interested?

In our latest webinar brought to you in partnership with CCIQ, Rowland’s Specialist Advisor — Brand, Melissa Lemberg and Marketing Communication Manager, Marcellina Powell share their insights on publicity and how to get it right.

Digging deep

Stories don’t always land in the media overnight and there are a few key things to think about when developing and pitching a story to the media:

  • In order to accurately target the right journalist, you should first understand who you’re trying to reach — who do you want to influence with this story?
  • Dig for the gems that lie at the inner workings of your business — share employee achievements and personal stories, innovative products or services, or a pivot in your operations
  • Is your story newsworthy? Impact, timeliness, proximity and prominence are just a handful of things your story must have before you pitch to media
  • Sharing your story comes down to relationships, visual opportunities and the technical nature of the information you’re sharing.

Owning your content

While publicity is crucial in building your brand awareness and reputation, it won’t necessarily reach all of your goals as a standalone tactic. Having done the hard work of finding your gem of a story, it would be wasteful not to use it across the many other platforms you have at your disposal. Make use of your owned channels and shared media by:

  • turning your story into a great blog post — it could be a thought leadership piece or a deep dive into a particular topic
  • sharing your media release on the news section on your website to provide users with easy access to the information
  • developing an EDM to give your database greater insight into the stories behind the business
  • sharing the content on your chosen social media platforms
  • equipping key influencers with the tools to share your story
  • utilising partner channels to share content relevant to them.

Want to find out how to build publicity into your next communication strategy? Visit Rowland’s brand services page here.