I know, you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands of pounds creating a new website which looks fantastic and most probably comes complete with all bells and whistles. It may even make the tea, for all I know.
You’re rightly proud of this new creation and want as many people as possible to see it, as quickly as possible. After all, increased traffic = more views = more enquiries = more sales = business growth.
This all makes perfect sense and believe me, I’m there with you. Right up to the point where you suggest that the fastest way might be to write a press release and tell the media about this fabulous new addition to your brand.
The thing is, the media couldn’t give a toss about your new website.
I know, it’s harsh. But if you can restrain yourself from leaving a nasty comment at the end of this post, then I’ll tell you precisely why this is and what you can do about it.
As a businessperson, you want to let customers present and future know what it is you’re doing, so that they can see why it is they should use your products or services.
However, a journalist would soon find themselves penniless and stacking shelves in the local supermarket, if all they did was write about one particular organisation unless – there was something really exciting to say. Let’s put the word “exciting” into context, here. A woman who had once been the beautician for Lady Diana but changed career and was now working as a construction worker might be of interest to The Sun or The Mail. I recently worked with an entrepreneur who started up his organisation whilst still at University and has just beaten off the competition from the big boys, winning a substantial share of an NHS contract. That one proved to be of huge interest to the broadsheets and the subsequent profile of his organisation was impressive.
So generally speaking, you should normally expect that any limelight you achieve in the national press, will be shared with others. On the bright side, if it’s regional press you’re after and you have a good success story, then you might well achieve an article focused on you and you alone.
What is a business journalist looking for then? In a nutshell, anything which will appeal to their readers, viewers or listeners. Anything which will spark a discussion, debate or argument. Anything which will get the blood boiling or help them with their everyday professional experiences. Here are a few examples of requests which I’ve recently received:
“As an entrepreneur, how do you plan to achieve your growth objectives?”
“Are you aged over 50 and returning to work after a career break?”
“Tell us about your failed apprenticeship experiences”
“Any statistics on British shopping habits?”
I’ve yet to come across one which simply says: “Launching a lovely website? Tell us about it!”
See what I mean? My job as a PR is to break it to you (a lot more gently than here) that really, your new website isn’t a story that will appeal to anyone outside of the organisation. I have to bridge a gap between your needs and the needs of the journalists – to make you think like a journalist and so be able to spot a real angle at 100 paces.
We won’t always be successful. But sometimes we will, and the benefits of building up a relationship with the media can be immense and long-lasting.
Just don’t mention your new website.
Even if it does make the tea.