Let’s face it: marketing can be boring. You want to advertise for your business, but you don’t want to do it in the usual way. The usual way has been done a million times, and no one’s going to pay attention to the millionth and first time. To solve this problem, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council—an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising entrepreneurs—a simple yet interesting question: What’s the most creative strategy you’ve ever used to get press for your company or product that other entrepreneurs can use? Their answers may surprise you.
1. Engaging on Twitter
Reporters will often times use Twitter to preview what stories they are working on — which is a great way to become part of the story. Follow reporters (not just tech reporters, but anyone you want press from), and then conversate when they ask for something on social media. Be helpful, and don’t always sell your company. Odds are you’ll quickly become part of the stories if you are helpful.
– Eric Koester, Zaarly
2. Making the Story Newsworthy
Make your story part of a bigger story. Tying your news or announcement to something that is already grabbing headlines and attracting readers will make journalists substantially more likely to cover it.
– Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics
3. Tattooing My Co-Founder
This may be an ill-advised strategy, but I’ll share it nonetheless. At SXSW 2013, I got us in The Wall Street Journal by making my co-founder get our logo tattooed on his back side. You can read about it here.
– Danny Boice, Speek
4. Making Our Company Relevant
We like to combine Internet marketing with things people can relate to. Here are two examples: 1) SEOVote2012.com. During the 2012 election, we made a site that compared candidates’ website stats — not just website traffic, but a lot of interesting metrics. 2) “The Best City in the World.” We got our hometown (Pittsburgh) to rank No. 1 on the Google search “The best city in the world.”
– Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing
5. Reading Help a Reporter Out
Reporters post queries on the Help a Reporter Out website, and my PR director responds regularly when our company may be a good fit for the story. It’s a wonderful way to connect with reporters and provide relevant, timely information. The alerts come through her inbox daily, and she responds for us.
– Tom Cannon, BungoBox
6. Hosting an Event
If you can take the time to host an event without making it all about your own company, reporters will take notice. Thought leadership builds over time, and you can’t be a self-promoter. By hosting industry events and allowing other companies (even competitors) to describe their successes and failures, you’ll see long-term benefits in terms of press and other earned media.
– Ryan Buckley, Scripted, Inc.
7. Sharing Research Findings
Reporters love to share research findings. Could you do a basic study within your own industry? Do you already have access to data that could be turned into findings that others would find interesting? If you can compile interesting research that ties back to your company in a creative way, it will be easy to reach out to relevant reporters to share the story.
– Allie Siarto, Loudpixel
8. Reaching Out on Social Media
My company is on Twitter and is pretty good at interacting with local people we meet and work with. I wanted to get my business on a local news show, so after a bit of investigation, I tweeted at the producer of the program. I knew what kind of content she needed, and I told her how I could do that on TV. She agree, and I did a full demo on a local TV show. Be creative, and use social media in a new way!
– Kyle Clayton, Jackrabbit Janitorial
9. Getting to Know the Writers
Get to know the media, blogs, etc. that you want to cover your story, and figure out which writer covers the topics you’d like to talk about. Then get to know this writer, and don’t be selfish by only wanting him to write about you. Offer your help, as well. Figure out a way to make friends with the writers. In my experience, it’s fun and the most effective way to keep good media relations.
– Iliya Yordanov, SilverWiz
10. Subscribing to Cision
Get a subscription from Cision Media List Database. It might be a little expensive, but it is worth it. You need your story out, and it starts with a plan. Media and PR pros know that the best plans start with Cision’s media database.
– Hassan Bawab, Magic Logix
11. Tying the Story to a Wider Trend
The press is interested in writing about trends that are occurring — whether economic, business, political or other trends. I highly recommend bridging your story to an ongoing trend in order to capture the attention of editors and producers. If you can convince them why you are relevant by incorporating your story into a large, relevant national story, your odds increase dramatically.
– Zach Cutler, Cutler Group