If you’re looking for a new way to promote your website, blog or digital product, then you may be feeling as though you’ve exhausted all of your available options online. Perhaps you’ve tried PPC marketing, social media marketing and releasing press releases to blogs and websites; and maybe you still feel as though you aren’t getting quite the attention that your business needs. Promoting yourself online may be a cheap and effective way to reach a lot of people, but it still means competing with a hug number of other bloggers/businesses/products who of course see all the same benefits that you do. Sometimes your marketing message can become something of a needle in a haystack…
An alternative then is to go the old-fashioned route and to try getting coverage in print. Print magazines still have circulations in the tens of thousands in many cases and those readers are all much more likely to pay close attention to the articles and adverts they read in there. As a physical product these can potentially have much more impact, and this can also sometimes give them more ‘authority’ in that ‘not just anyone’ can set up their own magazine.
So how do you go about getting noticed by magazines and getting coverage? It can be a nerve wracking experience if you’ve only ever used Google AdWords in the past, but actually it may just be easier than you think…
The Two Types of Coverage
Of course one way to get exposure in print media is simply to pay for advertising space. This is a primary source of income for many magazines so they’ll be more than happy to sell you a banner ad or a listing at the back – you just need to call up the sales department. This is worth experimenting with, but as it doesn’t take any particular skill we’re going to focus on how to get free coverage in this article…
The first tip is to start small. Approach Wired today and you’ll likely find that you don’t get much of a response (Wired has a total circulation of 851,823 thousand). They get approached by thousands of companies with press releases just like yours every day and that’s going to be tough to compete with. Instead then look for a magazine that’s very niche or even one that’s local and you’ll be in with a much better chance of getting covered. If you manage to generate some buzz around your product, blog or service you may find that other magazines start covering the same story.
Pick Up the Phone
Another tip is to forget the e-mail for a bit and to try picking up the phone instead. This way you can make much more of an impact and you’ll have a much better chance of getting listened to. Get the work number for a journalist or an editor and call them in the start/middle of the month – they’ll be looking for stories and if you have something compelling they can write about and sound friendly they’ll usually be grateful for the tipoff.
Look for the Angle
Remember that these magazines don’t just want to give you free coverage – they want to write stories that will be interesting to their readers or better yet useful. Try to look for an angle that will appeal to their audience and read a few articles in their magazine to identify the best way to phrase your pitch. If your product isn’t inherently different or interesting then how about you? Have you overcome trials and tribulations to set up your business? Would a magazine aimed at entrepreneurs like to hear your story? If you can’t turn this into an engaging story for their audience, then you can always throw a competition or introduce a discount that their readers will want to hear about.
Most of all though, just don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and to put yourself out there. The world of print is no different from online publishing and if you have a compelling story or something to offer then you can always get coverage here where there’s a little less competition and a little more credulity.
Greg Fisher, the brains behind this article, started Berkeley Sourcing Group eight years ago after realizing the need for efficient processes and coordination between manufacturing firms located in the United States and factories in China. When he is not busy working, he enjoys reading books or playing a good game of chess with his friends.