My experience is that few small businesses do much in the way of PR. It is largely an afterthought and so no wonder that when they do give it a try they are not successful. To make matters worse, many small business owners are “product centric”. While it is understandable that they are excited about their products or services (and I would hope so), it’s mere existence on the planet doesn’t necessarily make a good story. For a reporter, the story needs to be of interest to the readers of their publication. If not, why would anyone want to publish it?
Story interest will be different from publication to publication
Of course what is of interest to one publication might be different to another. For example, a new product announcement might be of great interest to the readers of a specialized trade publication but not to a local newspaper unless it is a product with broad appeal and is somehow noteworthy. On the other hand, many local business newspapers are interested in the happenings of companies in their local area so might publish something like a new product intro. The bottom line is — “It all depends”. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the publication you are targeting. What would be of interest to their readers.
Interesting Wall Street Journal Article on Small Business PR
There was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today about “Paying for PR”. The article talked about the experiences of Le Gourmet Gift Basket. The owner wanted publicity for her business and so hired a PR firm only to find that it cost a fortune with little result (she burned through $3,000 in the first two weeks!). It goes on to talk about new PR business models where you only pay for results. What I thought was particularly interesting was that her appearance in the WSJ article on PR was the consequence of the work with her PR company. The bill from the PR company that arranged the interview was around $6,000.