How to get seen as an expert in your field while getting free traffic online?
One of the most cost-effective ways to generate “hits” to your website and get calls to your office is to get mentioned in the news.
Even the smallest write-up about you could send thousands of visitors to your site or even calling your office.
It is a technique that has been used by the largest Fortune 500 companies for decades.
How to Get Featured in the News?
There are many ways to get featured in the news.
The first step is crafting press releases that one can send regularly to the media outlets around the business.
We will cover some of the easiest ways in this article.
1. Do something newsworthy, such as:
(a) make a speech or hold a roundtable of discussion with other influencers in your community. This can easily be done without leaving your location through zoom video conferences.
(b) hold an open house
(c) share some incidents when you really helped a client under unusual circumstances etc.
(A real story: a dentist helped a young boy who had broken teeth from an accident that happened in front of the dentist’s office. This dentist saved the boy’s teeth and the news featured this story. So you see, it may be something common for what your profession does but in the eyes of the news reporting, it is special and unique as a story! )
(d) Perform community outreach programs such as holding a food drive, toy drive or even working with senior citizens.
(Read our Community Events programs and use our guidelines to create a newsworthy event)
2. Write a press-release, always in past tense, even though you might be writing it before the event takes place.
3. If you want the press (reporter or photographer) to be there you will have to send the press release two to three days before the event.
Sometimes, however, you might not want them to be there (small group, not a good location, etc.). Or the event came about unexpectedly and you will have to send out the press-release right after the event.
4. Find a way to have someone else in the press release quoting you, or you quoting him, or someone else says or adds something.
This makes it more important to the editor, as well as to the reader. Did you ever find yourself sharing with someone an article someone else wrote just to make your point more believable? I bet you have!! Talk in continuity, for example “We are continuing our expansion” or “We have been trying for the longest time…”
5. A few hours or the next day after emailing the press release, you must call up the editor and ask whether he got the article. Take this as an opportunity to talk about the event and what else he might need from you. Make sure he confirms he has received the email, otherwise re-send it immediately and of course follow up with a call again.
If he is not interested, ask him what subjects he would be interested in.
6. Be sure you get all newspapers, TV and radio stations in your area, where you live and work (i.e., work in Bronx, live in Long Island).
Go to Google and you may find their info, plus also gather online magazines, news blogs in your area etc.
7. You must email all press-releases to all papers all the time and keep looking for new media names (magazines, online blogs etc.).
This includes online and offline publications about business, papers which address parents, and ethnic papers as well. Keep a log of all the newspapers, TV and radio stations to which you send releases.
8. Over the years, there are more and more distribution services on the internet such as PRweb, PRnewswire, etc.
These companies will charge you a fee for sending the press releases.
They can be used to help you get onto major news networks such as ABC news, CBS news etc.
However, do not expect tons of new patients to come from these presses.
These published presses usually are featured on websites which are not in your area.
So are they not useful for your local practice?
They are 100% useful.
If and when you get onto ABC news or CBS news with these press distribution services, even if these news sites are located in a different state and area, you can now use their media logo for your promo use. ( More will be explained at the next 3 steps below)
They also create powerful links to your websites and thus provide tremendous benefits for SEO.
Important: Published news online often rank much higher than your own website due to their authority.
Thus when you have news published about you, your prospect could find you much easier on Search Engines such as Google!
9. You also must keep an eye open for your news appearing in the newspapers, at least the ones you think might print your article, so that you can clip them out and reproduce them for future use.
You can also “Google” yourself in the regular web search and news search section as many media outlets do have internet publications as well. If you know from the TV or radio reporter that the segment on your news will air on a certain day, be sure to record that segment.
For radio interviews, you can use the digital recording and produce it as a video. Ask the host if you can get a digital recording.
For TV appearances, you can ask the producer/reporter how to get a copy. At the same time, check the website of the media entity – they may also show the video online. There are ways to download such a video.
10. Once you do a lot of releases, there are clipping services you can hire to search for their appearances so you won’t miss any.
11. Once you have collected your press article in the form of the newspaper clipping, or online publication, or recorded a TV/radio segment on it, you MUST and SHOULD display the clippings as nice posters display in your office and/or visible on your web site and share it on social media.
Here are some examples:
These clippings should be used and made visible to as many people as possible for an indefinite time on all your online platforms and also at your physical location.
(There are many people who have obtained press at some point but they have never used nor mentioned those old press articles to constantly remind the public that the media has endorsed them in the past.)
This is very important.
For eg., if you do traditional print ads or online display ads, isn’t it better to show the logo of the news entity which has mentioned good things about you? Thus your advertising gets more attention.
Here are some examples we have used:
How about using the logo of the media which has featured you on your home page or on all your social media platforms?
How about using the logo of the media which has featured you on your Facebook page design?
12. Always give a nice reproduction of the press article you got (even frame it) to the person you have quoted/included in your press. He will be your ally from then on.
13. Include a picture as often as you possibly can in your email or mail. Do not say picture upon request – send the picture as part of your email (for the technology-challenged, just print the pictures into hard copy and send them with your press article!)
We have compiled these steps based on 30 years of marketing for small business owners around the world.
We coined the phrase “Un-Advertising” to instruct our clients over 30 years not to focus on self-advertising alone but collaborating with entities like the media and other local influencers to drive sales.
Simply put, an “endorsement” about you in the news can build trust towards your brand much faster than self-advertising.
Traditional advertising has its place and can help you get the word out about your business.
But before you advertise, do “Un-Advertising” first by establishing deeper trust and connections with your community.