Start Small Win Big 2012: Your Wk 10 Action Plan

For Week 10 (March 26), read the April 2012 issue for Step 10: Pitch the Media. Then check your inbox for the March 26 Start Small Win Big newsletter.

This week’s assignment is about finding and creating media coverage for your small business. That means thinking like a journalist. Here are 8 do’s and don’ts for pitching the media.

Do offer tips for your industry or expertise, such as 5 Fun Things to Do with Your Children This Weekend, 3 Tax Breaks You Might Overlook, 7 Home Decor Trends for 2012.

Don’t make your news release a sales pitch. Provide news or information that’s interesting and not found elsewhere.

Do e-mail or “snail” mail the media your content, with offers to sample the product or send a review copy of the book.

Don’t call journalists directly to make your pitch unless he or she had agreed to set up a phone appointment first.

Do spell check and proof your press release; errors make editors think the business is not professional or polished.

Don’t use industry jargon or “business-speak.” Phrases such as “industry leader,”  “most trusted,” “provider of business intelligence,”  or “global solutions partner” are some of the most used ones.

Do include as many concrete details as possible, such as grand opening dates, promotional events and contests or giveaways with descriptions so that news editors can include these details in a community calendar.

Don’t start pitching the large metropolitan papers first; start with local, community newspapers who have more interest and space to cover small businesses such as yours.


Based on these suggestions, devise your pitch or story idea for a journalist and share it here. PLUS, Managing Web Editor K. Shelby Skrhak will be on hand to offer critiques of your pitches. 


Tory Johnson is CEO and founder of Spark & Hustle, a weekly contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a contributing editor of SUCCESS magazine.

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