Why is media relations important to small businesses?

Hands holding rolled newspapers on colour background

Why is media relations important to small businesses?

If you run a small business you may be wondering if media relations is worth the hassle. You have a website, you’ve set up some social media accounts and you’ve paid for a few adverts in your local paper. Do you really need to talk to journalists too?

The simple answer: yes! But let’s delve a little deeper into the matter. Why is media relations important and what’s in it for you?

What is media relations (and what isn’t it)?

What media relations is not is sending out press releases to a lengthy mailing list and hoping one will stick. There’s more to it than that and if that’s your sole strategy then prepare for it to affect your ROI.

Media relations is building a relationship with journalists so they know you as a trusted source of information and interesting news. If there’s a story happening in your area of expertise you want them to come to you for an insightful comment. After all, they are short on time and need to turn around stories fast in a 21st Century media landscape.

Media relations works best when it is targeted. Think about your ideal customer. Where do they get their news? Identify a reporter or researcher at key media outlets. Introduce yourself and your business, and ask them what stories spark their interest. That’s the best way to find yourself included in articles and features that shine a light on your brand.

But how is this going to benefit you?

Brand awareness

Gaining positive press coverage builds brand awareness among that media’s audience. If you have done your research correctly and made the right media contacts, their audience will include some of your existing customers, as well as plenty of potential ones.

Combine this with a great marketing and PR strategy, and you increase the number of ways people hear about your business.

Earned coverage

Media relations differs from marketing and advertising because it is earned. This means the journalist isn’t compelled to mention you in their show or article – they aren’t being paid to do so – but they think you deserved the limelight.

This third-party endorsement is worth so much more in the eyes and ears of viewers because no cash has exchanged hands to put your message in front of them.

Drive traffic and gain a social following

When your business is featured in the right media you’ll see a spike in traffic to your website and social media channels.

People will want to find out more about you, so ensure your website is search engine optimised and that you make the most of your coverage by talking about it on your social media.

Those are just a few reasons why media relations is important to your overall PR strategy. Want to find out more about doing it right? Read our post about how to approach journalists with an angle they’ll love.

Amplify PR is a Southampton-based PR and content marketing agency with experience of gaining local, national and international media coverage. Ask us about our media relations services.