News as a Marketing Tool for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you will have a marketing plan in place, designed to promote your business to your target audience and let people who might be interested in your products or services know that you have what they need. Hopefully, you’ve thought hard about your marketing plan and have implemented a carefully designed strategy that you regularly review to ensure you are getting the maximum return on your investment. What you may not have considered is that you and your business are also news.

What makes your business newsworthy?

You may not realize it because as far as you’re concerned, it’s your life; but the back story behind your business could make a very interesting read. Think about what struggles you’ve faced, what hurdles you’ve had to overcome. How did you get the idea in the first place? A lot of businesses are set up by people who have faced a life-changing experience, something that is always of interest to journalists. Anything about you personally that required strength of character to rise above, for example dealing with a chronic illness, being a veteran, maybe spending your childhood in the care system; these all make good human-interest stories that people will want to read. There is also the business itself; what is there about your product or service that makes it stand out? Is there an aspect of your business that ties in with current news stories or topics that are always in the news, such as environmental concerns? Community angles are always popular with local papers and news services, so if you employ parolees, or donate some of your profits to worthy causes, you are making the news.

Getting into print

Contacts are the ideal way to spread the word about your newsworthiness. If you go to yoga class with the local reporter, don’t be shy about approaching them and getting into a conversation. Amongst your network of friends, family and business contacts, it’s likely there will be someone who knows somebody in the media and can put you in contact. If you are new to the area and can’t come up with a personal connection, do some research and find out who covers this type of story for the local news outlets. When you know who is most likely to be interested, you can prepare an introductory email or give them a call to sound them out on your story. If you don’t feel confident in getting your message across like this, you can employ a public relations service such as to write a press release for you.

Having a story printed in a newspaper or online is an excellent way of reaching a lot of potential customers. One advantage of being in the news is that you are reaching out to people without actively advertising. A news story lends an air of credibility to your business and acts as a positive affirmation that your business is legitimate and trustworthy. Being able to use a link to a story in the media about your company on your website and in your marketing campaign also lends credence to your business and can form a key part of your promotional activities.


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