News and Events

How to make headlines: unveiling the power of media engagement for SMEs

Press Office
by Dan Gallienne
Published on
‘Ask not what the media can do for you, but what you can do for the media’ (1)

Working with the ‘traditional’ media can be a cost-effective and valuable way to raise awareness of your brand, enhance your profile, and expand your business. Wondering how to approach it effectively? Orchard’s head of PR Dan Gallienne recently presented at the Chamber of Commerce where he shared insight into how to snag media coverage. 

What we’re working with: Guernsey’s media outlets 

‘Traditional media’ refers to media written by journalists and published on recognised news channels. Our local media landscape is unique as Guernsey has a lot more outlets compared to towns of a similar size. When compared to regional newspapers in the UK, the Guernsey Press has the seventh biggest circulation (source), reflecting the local community’s engagement in what’s going on. Businesses looking to grow should certainly be making the most of this unique position to reach prospective customers and stakeholders. 

If you are a SME with limited budget and time, you might be asking: ‘why would I want to be in the media in the first place?’ Whether print coverage, or a mention on the airways or the local TV news bulletin, this lends credibility and creates awareness about your company. Amanda Eulenkamp – business editor of the Guernsey Press and editor of Business Brief – attended the talk and told us that the Guernsey Press has 3.5 readers per every print copy – excellent (and potentially free) brand exposure!  

How can you get media coverage?  

As any PR expert will advise you, you can’t just issue any old press release and expect the media to publish it willy nilly; you need to be asking what makes it a compelling story.  

Having spoken about how getting ‘traditional’ media coverage is crucial for businesses as it and adds credibility, Dan was as good as his word, with a video of local journalists giving insight of what they’re looking for when they receive stories.   

Straight from the horses’ mouths, the media are looking for good newsworthy people-based stories, ideally with proof to back up what you’re saying, and good visuals to accompany. What they don’t want is anything salesy, or congratulatory press releases full of technical jargon; use concise, pithy language. 

‘Business sells product’ is not a story unless it’s doing something innovative. Think, what would you tell your mum? Or your friend on a Friday in the pub? Then find your news hook and pitch it to a journalist. If you don’t have much in the way of news, try adding ‘newsjacking’ to your marketing plan, AKA adding your thoughts and opinions into breaking news stories. 

The journalists also highlighted the need for a human angle when pushing your news story. This feeds back into thinking about how local news performs so well compared to national news, because it’s localised. People like to read stories about people. 

Make the most of your media appearance 

Once you or your business has achieved this coverage, maximise it by reposting it on your website or social media. It is also important to maintain good relationships with the media – speak directly to that contact that you built a good rapport with. Also, keep your profile high by attending events to get your name and brand out there.  

If you’re looking for the help of a PR agency to help grow your business, get in touch with the Orchard team. For a handy weekly update of commentary opportunities and news stories that could give you some ‘newsjacking’ ideas, follow Dan on LinkedIn.  

Dan Gallienne
Dan Gallienne

Head of Client Services

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