Four Steps to Making Your Store a Celebrity

Daugherty Appliances’ co-owner Scott Boedigheimer appeared on the local news last spring to discuss product availability and safety protocols.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Despite the influence of TV ads and social media, one of the most powerful ways to get your business noticed is through a news story.

As author and attorney Steve Strauss explained in USA Today, a newspaper article or local TV report represents someone else saying how great your store is. What’s more, once the story appears, the article or video can be posted to your company’s website and Facebook page, where it can reside indefinitely and be incorporated into your marketing efforts.

Problem is, most news desks are deluged each day with pitches for publicity. The challenge is to make your story stand out from the pack, which Strauss says you can accomplish in four steps.

  1. Find a Unique Angle. You need to come up with an interesting, valuable or attention-grabbing story that will catch a reporter’s eye. A Grand Appliance diaper drive, as reported by the Chicago Daily Herald, or Daugherty Appliances’ appearance on local Fox21 TV to discuss product availability and safety precautions at the store, are two good examples.
  2. Find the Right Person. Forget “To Whom it May Concern”— you need to determine the appropriate person for the type of story you are proposing, such as a features editor for the charity story and a business reporter for the inventory report. Otherwise you’ll be wasting their time and yours.
  3. Make it Snappy. Rather than overwhelming an editor with all the details of your story, tease it with a short, snappy email that is addressed to him or her personally and hooks them with a great subject line.
  4. Follow Up. Everyone is super busy these days and the media is no exception. If you don’t hear back in a few days, by all means follow up with an email or a phone call, to ensure your story didn’t get lost in the shuffle.

“This plan is not foolproof,” Strauss cautions, but the potential payout in positive publicity can be priceless.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, home furnishings and CE dealers.