Even though the majority of people are likely to consume their news through social media platforms, it is actually produced by independent media outlets.  Some of these are mainstream names while others are niche publications.  Regular media outlets can play an important role in publicising your brand and it pays to understand how to make the most of them.

Work out which outlets matter most to your brand

There is a huge range of media outlets in the world and, frankly, the vast majority of them will be completely irrelevant to your brand.  This is good news because it makes it easier to sift through them and work out which is the best fit for your needs and wants.  When undertaking this task, remember that reach only matters when it’s relevant. 

For example, the mainstream media may have much higher circulation numbers than trade publications, but they are general publications.  This means that there’s a very good chance that most of their readers are only going to read a part of their content.  Niche publications, by contrast, will usually have smaller circulation figures, but they are likely to have a much more engaged audience, which will read most, if not all of their content.

Develop a relationship with those outlets

The obvious place to start is by advertising with them.  For most publications (digital and print) this is what really pays the bills and since you’ve concluded that their readers are people who might be interested in your product/service, it probably makes sense to advertise to them anyway.  If advertising rates are on the high side, then you could offer to sponsor some kind of special offer/competition/giveaway.  These have a lot of appeal to readers (which is value for the magazine) and also provides visibility for your business (value for you).

Keep the publication’s needs in mind at all times

When you’re paying for advertising space, you can do what you like (within reason), although, as always, just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you should.  When you’re essentially asking for a free content-marketing platform, you need to provide “payment” in some other way, specifically by providing something which is of genuine value to their readers but also makes them aware of your brand and what you could do for them.  In short, remember that it’s not about you, it’s about educating, entertaining and/or informing the publication’s readers.

Remember that short-term actions get short-lived results (and vice versa)

There’s nothing wrong with short-term actions.  The simple fact of the matter is that if you want to survive over the long term, you need to get through the short and medium first.  So, if, for example, you have excess stock to clear and you think that advertising a special offer in a specific publication would help you to do so, then, by all means, go ahead.  It may help you to achieve a short-term goal and you may be perfectly happy with that, what it is highly unlikely to do, however, is increase long-term brand recognition.

If you want to build brand loyalty, then you need to keep engaging with the customer and the obvious places to do that are on your social media platforms and on your own website.  This means both that the customer needs to be aware that these exist and that they need to have a reason to go and visit you on one or both of them.

Making a customer aware that you have an internet presence is fairly straightforward.  Giving them a reason to look you up online takes effort, but it is an effort which is well worth taking as everyone knows that maintaining and developing existing relationships is a whole lot easier than building them from scratch.

There are some fabulous PR companies out there, one I regularly use and recommend is Famous Publicity. If you’re unsure how to go about it or need help and advice, then as always consult a specialist.