Tips from Editors Turned Copywriters: How to Get in the Business Section

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SO YOU'VE GOT a big grand opening planned for your new business. You’ve even coaxed the mayor to be there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony by hiring the town’s best local caterer to whip up some of those tasty satay chicken skewers she likes so much. With all of the effort you’ve put into this shindig, your next step is to work with copywriters to get some coverage in your community newspaper’s business section.

By hiring a professional copywriter to handle your press release, you can be sure it'll be written in a clear, engaging manner and that it contains an interesting angle.

Of course, you could attempt to craft the press release yourself, or you could phone a random reporter at the paper and wing it, but that doesn't always go over so well.

Well, you might be able to bulldoze and/or sweet-talk your way into getting your message in print, but like most of us, time-pressed reporters are usually willing to meet people halfway. If it’s in the budget, hiring copywriters to create a well-constructed press release detailing the event, product or service you want highlighted is a sound investment. If it’s not in the budget or you’re more of a DIY kind of entrepreneur, increase your chances of getting publicity with something editors call ‘the hook.’

Here are three newsworthy situations and/or events that might get you some ink in the business section:

1. New business/grand opening

Many business editors, particularly in smaller communities, are happy to help out new businesses with an article introducing what they are about. At the very least, you could expect the 5Ws—who, what, when, where, why—about your fledgling company.

2. Unique product or service

If you’re the first company in your area to offer or utilize some cutting-edge technology in your manufacturing operation, you might be on to something. A professional copywriter can help you find an intriguing angle that will grab the attention of both business editors and readers.

3. Charity work

If your business actively supports a charity or non-profit organization, or raises significant amounts of money for one, it could earn you recognition in a newspaper.

How effective is the business section as a vehicle to promote your company? Think about how many people read your community paper. Think about how much a press release costs (compared to an add -- advertising costs money, editorial content is free). Sounds like a lot of readers finding out about what you're selling for not a lot of money.

The question then becomes: If you own a small business, do you have a story worthy of being put in print?

Learn about another way of promoting your company in our post: What is Brand Journalism? BC Copywriters Explain.

Looking for copywriters who can present your business story to the local media with a well-written press release? At Read Head Copywriting, our team of copywriters specialize in writing press releases as well as website content, blogs and more to boost your company’s brand awareness. Get in touch!

Natalie Appleton