For business owners, ink in either a local or a national publication creates visibility and an opportunity to reach new customers while also reconnecting with the current ones. Often times, businesses pass up media opportunities simply because they don’t realize they are available.
Securing coverage in a local or national publication may seem difficult, but sometimes getting free publicity is easier and more powerful than you might think. There are a number of ways business owners can spread the word about their business, but it always starts with taking time to pull together their latest information and sending it to the right contact.
Here are five free publicity opportunities that are Great Ideas.
- Sharing New Hire. Employee Promotions or Company Expansions.
Many publications devote specific pages to this type of information. For example, each week the trucking trade publication Transport Topics fills several pages with briefs on company and people news. Businesses related to the trucking industry can submit their press releases for consideration to TTEditor@ttnews.com. Operators can look at other industry publications they read to see if they accept press releases and find the appropriate contact.
- Connecting With Local Media.
There are a number of ways to reach potential customers, but one of the most powerful can be through local media. “Each truckstop has its own unique facts, and they should make it a grassroots effort to share those facts with their local reporters,” said Susan Fall, owner of LaunchIt PR and a PR specialist who focuses on the transportation industry. Fall suggests operators send their local media a “did you know” email. “Get creative, get factual, just get it out there,” she said. “The ‘did you know’ could be anything from interesting trucking facts to stats about your own operation.”
- Taking Part in A Local Contest.
Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant at the Tucson Truck Terminal in Tucson, Arizona, saw its sales spike when it took part in the best breakfast contest sponsored by the local newspaper [see page 18]. But, Omar Ramirez, the restaurant’s executive chef and general manager, said he saw a number of local businesses that weren’t taking advantage of the opportunity.
- Helping Reporters Find You.
Businesses can sign up for services, such as HARO—Help a Reporter Out—which connects journalists in print, radio and television with potential sources. After signing up through the site www.helpareporter.com, potential sources receive an email three times a day with queries from journalists, editors and producers who need sources for their stories. If a company or business owner has the expertise the reporter needs, he or she can email the contact a short description.
- Sharing Your Stories with NATSO.
Last, but not least, don’t forget to share your story with NATSO. From Biz Brief to Stop Watch to the blog, NATSO is working to highlight the latest activities, best practices and innovative solutions independent operators are undertaking. Sharing these stories helps demonstrate the important role independent truckstop and travel plaza operators play in their communities and along the nation’s highways. Moreover, the stories provide great publicity and recognition for your staff and your business, and they can help inspire fellow independents. To submit a story to NATSO, email a press release, story idea or rough draft to email@example.com. We will take it from there. And, pictures are always appreciated.
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