How to Be Your Own News Outlet

Oct 2, 2017 | Public Relations

In today’s media climate, it’s difficult to secure coverage for day-to-day operations unless, say, your business is on fire (and we dearly hope it is not). Many news outlets have trimmed down staffs to cover just the need-to-know information for their coverage areas.

Thankfully, there are alternatives to traditional news outlets, and one is setting yourself up to spread your own news. We’ve broken down a few ideas for how to be your own news outlet the next time your business has exciting information to share.

Step 1: Preview the event.

Start talking about it a month in advance — post it on your blog, share links that post to your social media platforms and send invites to the event via social media.

Don’t have a blog, or want a separate URL just for the event? Consider setting up a landing page. The landing page may link to your business website and house photos, videos and additional information, including signup forms.

Speaking of photos and videos, make sure you have both, if possible, just to preview the event. These assets help to land more shares, clicks and engagement on social media. Plus, they will keep your visitors on your website, blog or landing page for a longer period of time, which could increase web traffic to other pages on your site.

Don’t forget more traditional opportunities to preview the event, too. Printed flyers, flashy mailers and other leave-behinds are still relevant, in addition to signage (particularly if your business is in a high-traffic area).

Step 2: Leverage partnerships.

No one is saying you have to do this on your own. In fact, it’s better if you bring in other people who may draw more attention to your event. The more people involved, the more likely your event may be covered by the media.

Similarly, those same people may use their social networks and blogs to share your event with their followers, spreading the word and adding third-party credibility to you and your .

In addition to your business partners, also consider organizations you regularly use for networking, such as chambers of commerce, tourism centers, professional groups and business alliances, particularly for ribbon-cuttings, groundbreaking events and business announcements, such as hirings, promotions, mergers and more.

Step 3: Livestream or record the event.

As video continues to become increasingly important to business marketing, it’s essential that you consider it during your event.

Depending on your business goals, you may choose to livestream on a social network or website. You may also choose to record the video or do both livestream and record; most livestreaming is also recorded for playback and editing. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter (via Periscope) make livestreaming and recording relatively easy.

If you choose to use a social network, however, you will need to record from a smartphone. We recommend using a microphone and completing a sound check to ensure audio quality before you go live, and using a tripod to keep the video steady.

Step 4: Take both candid and posed photos.

What’s the difference between a candid and a posed photo? A candid photo is the photo of your surprised face when you walk into your birthday party. A posed photo is your family portrait in matching sweaters.

It’s not surprising that most audiences prefer candid shots from events, and for the most part, traditional journalists only accept candid photos.

If at all possible, ask or hire someone to take photos at the event. These photos can be compiled into a social media photo album, carousel or slideshow, or even be shared on a blog as a photo gallery.

Don’t rule out posed photos, however, which may be used as submissions to newspapers and magazines when they don’t cover an event.

Step 5: Document everyone involved.

Confirm that any event speaker’s name and title is accurate, in addition to anyone else who appears in photos, particularly the posed photos you may be submitting for media coverage. It’s easy to lose credibility quickly if you misspell the name of a neighboring business or give the incorrect title of the city mayor.

If you think you may be too overwhelmed to pay attention to these details, don’t be afraid to resort to asking or hiring someone to pull together this information for you.

Need a hand on your big day? Gavin specializes in generating buzz and media opportunities for events and announcements. Contact us today to talk about coordinating pre-event and on-site opportunities to make your next event go off without a hitch.