by Heather Robinson, Marketing Manager
Every business can benefit from positive media attention, including accounting firms. Press increases brand awareness and credibility in the eyes of current and potential clients, which can lead to revenue growth.
Too often, firms share content on social media and share press releases hoping to get noticed. But with the amount of noise out there today, such passive efforts rarely attract the attention firms hope for. The following tips can help you get media attention for your firm.
Step 1: Decide whom you want to reach and where to find them
The first step in getting media attention is to determine whose attention you’re trying to get. Saying you want “more clients” isn’t helpful. You need to identify a particular audience, then build from there. Get specific about your audience, what they’re interested in, and where you’re likely to find them.
Do you want to reach more high-net-worth individuals for your trust and estate planning niche? Owners of small service-based businesses? CFOs of publicly-traded companies? Restaurant owners? Get specific.
Each of these audiences is interested in different topics and consumes different media, so once you know who your target audience is, figure out where you can reach them. Do they listen to the radio or podcasts? Watch the news? Read the local paper or certain websites? Subscribe to certain publications? Engage on social media?
Step 2: Reach out to relevant journalists and editors
This step can be time-consuming, but it’s important to forge connections with the right journalists and editors if you want to get media attention.
While most local and national publications and websites have a catch-all email address for sending press releases, they may receive hundreds of press releases and news tips from people every day. It’s much more effective to send your story ideas and pitches to someone who works in that area.
Let’s say you want to get a story about how your firm helps local businesses thrive during the pandemic by assisting with Paycheck Protection Program loan applications and strategic planning. That might be of interest to a business editor at your local paper, so locate their email address.
Send them a few short paragraphs via email to pitch them a story with an interesting subject line and a unique angle. Don’t just recite facts about new tax legislation or other topics they can find anywhere – bring them an interesting idea that their readers will care about. This can be especially effective if you have a new perspective on a timely news story.
Note: Before you start reaching out to journalists, editors, or producers, make sure your firm’s website and your social media profiles are polished and professional. Anyone considering your pitch will almost certainly check out your website and social media profiles before deciding whether to write about you. If those are a mess, they will probably delete your email.
Step 3: Offer a guest post or podcast appearance
It can be difficult to get the media to write about your business. It’s much easier to get your firm’s name in print when you write the story yourself.
Seek out publications and offer to write a guest blog for their site or appear on their podcast. For example, if you are trying to develop your niche with construction contractors, offering to write a guest post on how the latest tax legislation might impact contractors might be a timely and interesting topic for the newsletter of a local contractors’ professional association. This allows you to establish yourself as an authority in the industry while providing value to their audience.
Step 4: Seek out media opportunities
Tools like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and Qwoted send media requests directly to your inbox. Journalists, writers and producers share the topics they’re working on and allow you to pitch back to them.
If you sign up for one of these platforms, know that PR professionals outnumber journalists, so you still have to have a great pitch. Never send irrelevant pitches, or respond with information they can find with a five-minute Google search.
Make it part of your daily routine to read over the day’s queries and crafting pitches for the relevant ones.
Step 5: Follow up on your wins
Once you successfully win media coverage for your firm, get some extra mileage out of it by sharing it on your own social media profiles. You can even share them a few times throughout the month by varying the text and images in each post. You may also want to write a blog post elaborating on the topic and including a link to the story. All of these techniques help your story reach a wider audience.
When it comes to getting media attention, it’s best to focus on quality over quantity. It takes some hard work and dedication, and it can be difficult to measure the success of your efforts, but it can increase your exposure and ultimately drive your firm's growth.
Do you want to fast-track your firm’s success in the areas of marketing and business development?
The Boomer Marketing & Business Development Circle is a peer group of top marketing and business development professionals in the accounting profession who share best practices and lessons learned. Apply now to get plugged into the Circle and connect with other top marketing and business development leaders.
As the Marketing Manager for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Heather’s primary focus is on developing the firm’s marketing strategy and brand awareness to help drive business results. She manages and executes marketing and business development initiatives, with daily oversight of the website, social media, and thought leadership content. In addition, as a part of the Business Development team, she provides leadership and strategic planning on marketing and communication practices for the firm.