Written by: Victoria Parham, Career Strategist, Trainer, On-Air Personality, Army wife and veteran
Your virtual business is finally up and running, everything is in place and you’re ready to tell the world. You take out several advertisements in your local newspaper, pass out fliers, launch the website that you spent months working building. However, after about six to eight months you notice that you have invested a great deal of money in ads and not a single person has responded.
First things first. Don’t spend another dime on advertising your virtual business.
Switch gears, pump your breaks, and try this: spend time on creating a short, impacting, and buzz generating news release that will capture the attention of editors and reporters.
Your immediate priorities when trying to attract publicity for your virtual business should include the following:
- Make sure your service or product is ready for the public (it’s ready for market)
- Ensure it works
- Make sure it’s something that will meet the needs of your buyers (they need it, want it, and can’t live without it)
Once you’re sure that your product or service is the best around then it’s time to tell the world. Be prepared to spend lots of time on your public relations (PR).
Remember the purpose of PR is to create good will, keep your company and product /service in front of the public. Humanize your company so the public is emotionally connected (they immediately recognize it through a jingle, tag-line, logo or name).
Media professionals are very busy people and they don’t have time to read news releases that cover your life history or simply sell your product or service. There are three B’s to consider when developing your news release:
- Be clear
- Be concise
- Be brief
Your message should be summed up in a few short sentences, otherwise, it will be received as too long and editors will not read it (file 13 it goes – the trash).
One of the best and cheapest ways to get free publicity for your new virtual business is to get out into your local community:
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce
- Sponsor charities
- Offer valuable facts about your industry or business
- Piggyback off a local or national story
- Write an article
- Volunteer to speak at an event
In today’s competitive business environment, attracting free media coverage simply makes good business sense. The publicity will cost you nothing but time and energy.
About the author:
Victoria M. Parham is a (retired) army wife, veteran, talk radio host, and Career Strategist. Propelling people to reach their greatest career potential.