Instead ask, “What can I do for you?”
This should be one of the fundamental underpinnings of the small businessperson’s approach in seeking to get a mention in print or an appearance on television. If your outreach to reporters, bloggers and producers consistently sounds like: “What can I do to help you with your upcoming story or series?” instead of “When are you going to do something for me and write about my business?” you’re going to make relationships that will pay off in coverage, eventually. Maybe not on your first approach, but almost certainly down the line.
The trick is to find out what a writer or producer is working on or planning, and then, if you have something of use to add to their story, offer yourself as an expert or resource. Yes, you’re doing it out of self interest, but you’re helping the journalist. This is way better than just sending out a self-focused “Look at me! Write about me!” sort of pitch.
Of course, there are several ways to find out which journalists are working on what stories, and when – most of them requiring either lots of time (read articles, track down the journalists, guess what they might be writing about next) or lots of moolah (hire an old-style PR agent).
We, however, recommend our very own, highly efficient and extremely cheap search-and-notify service called PR-123. Starting at just $99 a month, you can be instantly in the know whenever a journalist is working on a story related to what you do, opening the door for you to contact them with a friendly and helpful “Let me offer this expertise or information to you” approach.
So, raise your eyes, my friend (to the top of this screen), click on Our Services and then on Do-it-Yourself Publicity, and you’ll go right to www.PR-123.com. Smartest move you could make.