Let´s take some serious baby steps today toward your company, no matter what it does being the next "water cooler company" this year.
I´m defining the term "water cooler company" as one that all the other competitors are talking about and the press is talking about. So how do you start your journey toward "water cooler coolness"? You set up a media list and you engage the media.
What´s a media list look like? The good news is they come in all shapes and sizes. The easiest way to build one from scratch is to simply open a spreadsheet like Excel and input folks that you want to contact, do some PR networking with or get coverage from.
When you´re armed with a spreadsheet full of names, you´re way ahead of the PR game. You´ll be in the select few who can respond pro-actively in disseminating your own company news.
I´ll start your contact list off for you:
Reporters from local newspapers — Find where your company fits in coverage and read those reporter´s stories and get their contact information. Go to the business section of the paper and glean all the reporters from it to put in your spreadsheet. Don´t discount the section digest that just covers new hires etc. Even a little news once in awhile in those sections can boost your PR profile.
Don´t just get the reporters, get the editors of the papers. And don´t discount the smaller business only focused publications as well as the online business news outlets and their editorial contacts.
TV and Radio Networks — look at both the AM and FM stations news coverage as well as the local TV channels for ways to be covered. Look for your local affiliate television station and identify who their business reporters are and what they cover locally. Identify the producers of the shows as well, they are important to know.
Free Business Wires — PRLeap, PRWeb are two very commonly used ones for free release submission.
Your spreadsheet data should include: name, company, title, address, phone, email, fax, news deadlines, and preferences for receiving news. It should also include a column for contact notes as you begin to submit news and get response. This spreadsheet and its contacts should also be updated at the bare minimum of every three months. Many times reporters, editors, news producers leave and move on to other markets. So keep your contact list up to date.
You´ve got your contact list"?¦now what?
Tune in tomorrow for the next step!