The news media isn't going to cover you just because you're nice and you're local.
There are really only two ways for indie retailers to get into the media spotlight.
BE THE EXPERT
Set yourself up as the expert in your field by following this plan:
- Get the contact info for every reporter out there - print, online, radio and TV.
- Follow their stories - all of them - to find out who is most likely to write about something in your field.
- Every time they write anything close to your industry, send them a note of praise for the article.
- When possible, send them a link to another source of info (not you, but a third party) for more information about the topics on which they have written.
- Continue until they begin to trust you as a reliable source of info.
- Wait for them to start asking your opinion.
- Give it freely, clearly, in sound bites, and backed up with reliable, checkable facts.
GO BIG OR GO HOME
Set yourself up in the spotlight by following this plan:
- Attend events where media coverage is already present.
- Do something within the framework of the event that absolutely HAS to get noticed.
- Be larger than life. Take it to the extreme!
I just participated in our Fitness Council's Smart Commute High Heel Bike Ride. The event includes people biking in heels and a fashion show where they crown the King & Queen. This is what I wore...
Yeah, I was voted King (or queen, I forget). Yeah, we're getting a lot of coverage for it. Yeah, people are smiling. "We're here to make you smile!"
PS When you get your chance to shine in the spotlight, remember that you have to be over-the-top if you want to generate word of mouth. People may think you're crazy, but in a cunning way. Make sure, however, that what you do is within the framework of the event or they will just think you're plain crazy.