Once in a while, I will be writing about tools for PR people – or for small businesses that either want to outreach to the local press, or at times for the national press.
The big question is how do you find the right contacts for the media? While there are services for the larger agencies – with higher costs – if you are just concentrating on a local campaign, books like FINDERBINDER are the way to go.There are so many tools that are out there for PR professionals, that can be used for the small business. One thing to remember, though, is that the press has a short fuse, and you need to approach them in a smart way. If you write a press release, do not use marketing speak, but write like you would if you were a news reporter.
With FINDERBINDER, the small business has access to the various editors, reporters and producers at the local newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations. Why is this important? When you have news – from the new hires, to the new hours, to the new menu items – these sorts of thing are news to different parts of the newspaper or magazines. They are not blockbuster news, but they are of public interest and sometimes the low hanging fruit to get your company into the media.
With a directory of the local editors, the small business has a leg up on the competition by being able to contact them in a smart way to share the information. And, that separates smart business from just everyday business – ways to reach the public through the media.
There are a few drawbacks to FINDERBINDER, I found. First, they do not list freelancers, so you will need to dig out who the freelancers are in a certain city. Where I am based, many of the writers for magazines are freelancers, so you can either send the pitches to the editors, or have the freelancers pitch the story ideas. Another drawback is that currently bloggers and other citizen journalism outlets are not covered by the service … but that might be because blogs are just too new.
But, it’s a good tool to start your own media campaigns with the local press.