Yes, we are all shell shocked, but no one likes to hear more about how we have been hit, and what we are doing to survive, than the media. We just love to read about other peoples’ woes, and even more, about the brilliant ways the country’s small businesses are adapting to this crazy world of isolation.
So, if you have been trying in the good times to engage with the media to profile your business but not yet got their attention, now is the time. The JournoLink office (virtual of course!) has been peppered with more requests from journalists for small business stories than ever before, and we have invited businesses to share with us their coronavirus experiences which we have passed onto journalists. Many have found themselves in the papers, with several getting profile in the Sunday Times.
So five key tips to focus on:
- Don’t moan about your problems. We all know it’s tough, and we are all in the same boat... many deeper in the water than you. But do be honest about the impact, the number of staff on furlough, the volume of cancelled orders etc, but then say how you are getting round the problems.
- Really showcase your ‘never say die’ attitude. In JournoLink we have seen stories of speed dating going online, dog grooming going virtual (still struggling with that one!), a photography business doing a 180 with clients now sending in their photographs and paying for the privilege. These are the stories the journalists love and will use. And they are the stories that are creating the smiles behind the walls of isolation. So, don’t hold back. Be proud to share how you are surviving, however wacky it might be.
- Catch the journalists interest right at the start with a really snappy heading. If you want to get noticed, you have to stand out from the crowd. Then tell the story succinctly and add a good image. You are four times more likely to get used if there is a good image that will draw the readers eye to the article.
- Use a good trusted online distribution tool. There are several that you can find on Google. JournoLink is one, and you can use the free JournoLink coronavirus tool at the moment for a brief shout out to journalists.
- Make sure your contact details are included and be ready to take the call from the journalist when it’s convenient for them.
About Peter Ibbetson
Peter Ibbetson was a senior banker in the SME space before becoming an entrepreneur himself and founding JournoLink. Having been the face in the media during the financial crisis for SME banking, he understands the world of both small business and the media, and in particular how to make the most of PR in difficult times.