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Taking Your Public Relations Strategy National

It’s not difficult for a company with a small public relations department to attraction attention from local media. You might not think that same small company –- or even a small company without an in-house public relations department –- could also also attract attention from regional, national, and even international media outlets. But it’s easier than you might have assumed. The following tips can help you –- or your outside public relations firm — launch your company into the national spotlight.

Reprint any press clippings on your own web site; you can also republish press clippings in company newsletters, whether print or email. Be sure to ask permission from the original sources first, whether local TV stations, newspapers, or magazines. And also be sure to credit those media outlets in full, including an author’s byline and a copyright notice, and offer link back to their own web sites.

Draft a concise email to national media outlets, including a link to the press clippings on your own web site. Convince reporters, editors, and producers why they would want to pick up your story. Offer possibilities for new angles, including media interviews with experts from your company.

Once you’ve sent your email, determine which of these national media outlets are most important to your public relations strategy and call them directly. Briefly reiterate why they should be interested in your story. Remember these reporters, editors, and producers are busy and wary of public relations pitches; be insistent but not pushy. If they seem at all curious, follow up with another email.

For who business owners who act as their company’s own public relations department, books on public relations strategies will help you determine whether or not you phone and email pitches are as effective as they could be.

These tips may only seem useful if your company’s story has already been picked up by your local news media. But you or your public relations firm can actually attract attention from national media outlets first — creating a story which may then spark interest among local news outlets.

Stories of corporate charity or volunteer work are often picked up by national media outlets as “human interest” stories. Pitching your company’s charitable work to a reporter who works a human interest beat is a good way to attract national media attention for what might seem like a local story. And that national media attention in turn creates a buzz around a business that local media finds hard to resist. Any company’s public relations strategy should target not only media outlets close to home but those around the country, even around the world.

This article, written by Ned Barnett, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.

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