how to get press for ecommerce businessesHave you ever considered writing a press release to share with the media, journalists, bloggers and influencers in your industry? Creating shareable content to introduce a new product is a great way to get in front of your audience and grab their attention.

Don’t be intimidated by the task of writing and distributing news releases. Public Relations (PR) isn’t just for big brands – small businesses can absolutely benefit from the practice of press and other public relations activities. We recently attended a Webinar hosted by Marketwired, a leading news distribution solution, and learned some great tips for pitching stories in a fresh way. Dan Ovsey, account director for Edelman Toronto, the world’s largest PR firm, shared some excellent strategies to earn reporters’ attention and get your news out there.

Try these three tips with your next (or maybe first!) news release, and get in front of your audience in a big way.


Get Social

Your brand should already have social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or wherever else you think your target market hangs out. Reach out to influencers in your space to connect. PR expert Dan Ovsey suggests talking with them, not at them – in other words, keep everything conversational.

Find Youtube stars, bloggers or other online influencers that could act as brand ambassadors for your company. Compliment an article or achievement of theirs, and ask thoughtful questions. These are the people you want to talk about your business with their audience.

Start building that rapport, then, when your ecommerce business does something new or cool, send them a tweet or a message letting them know. If you’ve built a relationship with them thus far, they will be far more inclined to share your news with their audience.


Take A Survey

If you’re going to introduce a new line of products into your brand, build some hype by getting the media involved. Dan Ovsey had a great example of something his PR company did for Starbucks. Starbucks was gearing up to launch a new line of tumblers called the Dot Collection. The Dot Collection was strategically timed to launch during the holiday season…which is good news for Starbucks, but only if they can convince consumers to ignore the other flashing ‘buy this!’ signs and shop from them instead.

The Edelman team knew that journalists were swamped this time of year with emails to promote goods, and that this pitch had to be different to get reporters talking. They sent out a quick survey to journalists to get a feel for their tastes and suggestions for the Dot Collection.

The result? The team received some good feedback.

They took it into consideration and sent each journalist a tumbler that suited their style and a handwritten note. The reporters shared the news, and the Dot Collection gained the publicity they were looking for. The creative and considerate approach to sharing the designs of Starbucks’ new collection intrigued the reporters, and made them more willing to share.

Think outside the box – how can your small business mimic the strategy of successful brands like Starbucks? Is there a small sample you can send to your favorite bloggers, Youtube personalities and journalists in your industry, along with a survey?

If you can only send a few samples, prioritize the top three influencers most likely to share your product with their audience. Send them a sample, along with a brief survey like the team at Edelman did for Starbucks. Be bold – creativity and ingenuity could earn your brand time in the spotlight.


Be Inclusive

Dan Ovsey recommended trying to bring the journalists into the story. Let bloggers, journalists and other influencers test things out and ask questions when you pitch your idea or send them product samples.

Encourage them to give you honest feedback, statements and quotes in return. When you type up your press statement, be sure to include the opinions and quotes of the reporters you reached out to. First person accounts from the media within your industry not only build credibility for your news release, but also increase the likelihood that the reporters will share the story.

Given their now personal ties to the piece, they’ll likely share the release on their various social media channels instead of just one, granting you access to a larger audience.

Don’t forget to follow Dan Ovsey on twitter for more advice and helpful articles. Give him a shout and let him know you liked his tips!


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