According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 99.7 percent of all businesses in the US are small businesses. And according to an April 2015 study by Manta, 59% of small businesses are dissatisfied with their return on investment from social media.
"I realized that turning likes into leads was a whole other full-time job that I just didn't have the resources for," says Geeta Nadkarni, a professional speaker and do-it-yourself public relations coach at Baby Got Booked. "With Facebook changing the algorithm so that only 8% of the folks who've liked your page see your posts… social media is not free.
"When I launched my business, we were living on a single income that we knew we were going to lose. So we didn't have the luxury of time to organically grow our social media reach. Which is why I decided to leave the audience-building to the big media outlets with the big budgets and focus instead of delivering tremendous value to their viewers, readers and listeners. As a result, we built a six-figure business in less than six months by getting the media to market for us. And our clients are doing it too, with most of them landing local, national and international press within weeks (sometimes even days) of starting."
Meanwhile, journalists and producers are looking for compelling content and fresh ways to tell the same seasonal story that pops up every year.
So here are some tips for making your story hit the headlines:
1. Combine trends: Take two trends that are hot right now and put them together for a fresh new story. For example, online shopping for the holidays is huge. And we're leading up to the holidays where people tend to start looking at gym memberships. REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: So take a company called LiftSession.com. They're an app for iPad or desktop where you work LIVE with a trainer for a 30 minute session from the comfort of your home or hotel room. So the story is "Fitness app takes online shopping to a new level"
2. Reveal a trend: Often you'll notice trends emerge just from your everyday dealings with customers and clients. Putting them into story form can really help a producer serve her audience. REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: If you run a gluten-free bakery, share that a recent Gallup poll says that one in five Americans is actively trying to include GF foods in their diet. So sharing gluten-free alternatives to holiday favorites will help a lot of families who feel caught between tradition and a loved one's medical needs.
3. Tie your story to a celebrity: America loves a good celebrity story. So if you're a real estate agent and you read that a certain celebrity is downsizing their palatial mansion, you could pitch a story on your town's smallest homes and how your local breakfast show's viewers can maximize the space they purchase.
4. Include a call to action BUT... Design a special incentive or something that builds on your interview e.g.: if you did a segment on year-end accounting tips, include a free downloadable worksheet that the public can use to organize their information. Or have special code that allows your company to donate a portion of proceeds to a charity. Yes, you do want to be clear about what action you want the public to take, but don't focus on purely on sales. DO focus on continuing to build a relationship with the audience. A free ebook, worksheet, template or rebate can all accomplish this task.