Is getting press coverage something you’d like to achieve as a pet business owner?
Appearing in the media can be a huge boost for your brand.
It might sound daunting. Another thing on your list on top of social media and any other marketing activities you might do.
But having your name and business featured in newspaper, magazines, websites, radio or TV stations is powerful and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
You can read this blog post or listen to my podcast episode on this topic on the link below:
Pick up any newspaper or magazine, whether it’s local, regional or national and you will find stories about pets.
And that story could be about YOU!
It could mean hundreds of thousands of people , even millions, read about what you do.
Rather than you controlling the message as you might on your own website or social media, it’s a third party, the journalist.
Readers see that as far more credible. It leaves a lasting impression.
So if they’re looking for a pet professional or product in future you will be front of mind.
Here are five reasons why press coverage is important and how it can help you and your pet business.
It raises awareness of what you do
You already have active social media channels and a website but how do people who don’t know you or aren’t already following you find out about you?
If you feature in an article this puts you or your product in front of tens of thousands of people who didn’t know you existed.
How often do you spot a product in a magazine and think ‘that looks good,’ then head to the website and buy it? (I do this far too often)
Publicity is a way for people outside of your friends and family and social network to discover you.
Kim from Leo, Charley and Me says she saw her takings increase by 700% after appearing in the media and won clients from all over the world after her products were worn by Boris Johnson’s dog Dilyn.
Read her story on Mail Online: Ex school nurse sees products worn by Boris Johnson’s dog
It helps you stand out from the crowd
Let’s say you’re a dog walker in Warrington. If you do a quick online search you’ll find tonnes of other people doing the same.
How do you rise above the froth? Having media coverage can help.
Often people will first hear about you on a social media recommendation. I see lots of posts online where people ask for friends to suggest a plumber, builder or dog groomer.
People usually give lots of different names, and you want your name to stand out above your competition.
If you’ve had articles written about you this will ensure you do. You want your name to be appearing all over the internet.
Dominic Hodgson is a dog trainer in Newcastle and set out to be ‘all over the internet,’ and as a result of press coverage he ranks at the top of Google with press coverage about his work.
He even coached a journalist from the Newcastle Chronicle on how to train her puppy with his Pack Leader Dog Adventures business.
Read about Dominic’s Worry Free Walks book on the Mirror Online: Dog owners need to stop pets getting bored
Press coverage will work for your business 24/7
The more places you show up online the better and if you feature in a newspaper, magazine or website, that content is there forever.
It’s described as ‘Evergreen,’ meaning the story remains on the website long after it was published.
If you appear on a news website, that story will still be there in five years time driving new customers towards you.
It may take a little more time to build relationships with writers, then reach the point where you’re ready to pitch and have a story published, but the effort is worth it.
One of my clients is a dating coach who has articles we worked on in 2013 which still bring her clients today.
You can position yourself as an expert
If you’re a service provider such as a dog trainer, animal behaviourist or canine massage therapist, you can share your expert knowledge in the media.
You might pitch an idea about a new dog training method or a technique you use with your clients that has had remarkable results.
Many dog trainers I know have regular columns in newspapers and magazines which cements their reputation in their field.
Karen Boyce from Beastly Thoughts Dog Training featured in her local paper after appearing at Crufts which you can read here: Meet the Wrexham trainer who picked up two rosettes at Crufts
This visibility and expert positioning led her to be THE expert for puppy classes and in January 2020 she had 54 puppies sign up and now puts on eight classes a week.
Read how she’s the most popular trainer in her area: How Karen became the most popular trainer in Wales
It builds trust in you and your business
People are impressed when they see you or your product have been in the media – it gives your business some star quality.
If you have already had coverage, make sure people can see it on the press page on your website by uploading the clipping or recording
Whether it’s a gift guide in your local paper or a profile piece about the Lightbulb Moment that saw you set up your business in the Daily Mail, people notice.
They see you as credible because you have been written about by the journalist and this builds trust.
It also gives an insight into you and what you stand for and the more you can put that message out there the more people you can attract to become clients.
Both Dominic and Karen’s examples show that publicity helps build trust in you as a pet business and by following some simple steps you can do the same.
I hope you understand why media coverage can help you grow your business.
Many entrepreneurs and brands spend anything from a few hundred to tens of thousands of pounds on Public Relations.
Having worked as a journalist on local and national titles, I know that reporters would rather hear from small business owners than PR firms.
If you’d like to try pitching to journalists, you can download my FREE press release template here.
And for more support, come along and join my Facebook group here: www.facebook.com/groups/publicitytipsforpetbusinesses