Put Yourself in the News

Aug 24, 2012

The upcoming SEMA show is much more than a typical tradeshow. It is the largest aftermarket industry event, where many companies will gauge their business success or failure heading into the next year. Yet, I am always surprised to hear that fewer than 10% of all exhibitors ever take advantage of the busy SEMA Press Room and other free opportunities for media exposure that the annual event provides.

A possible article written about your product and/or business can be a huge boost to future sales. This year, make the most of your SEMA investment by getting the attention your business and products deserve!  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Take your product photography seriously.  When trying to pitch your business and products to the media, the phrase, “Pictures speak louder than words,” is never more meaningful. It’s worth every penny to find a local photographer who understands how to properly light and shoot your products, project vehicles and company events. Being able to provide high-quality images to the media will definitely make your PR and marketing efforts more successful.
  2. Invest in a well-written Press Release.  Poor writing is perhaps one of the most common mistakes made by businesses when writing press releases and promotional copy. A properly written press release can improve your chances for media coverage dramatically. It has to be newsworthy and must be formatted correctly. If it reads too much like an advertisement or causes the editors additional work, your chances for exposure are low. If you’re not a writer, it is well worth the minor investment to outsource this type of writing to a firm like ours. PR firms also have existing relationships with industry media contacts, which also increases your chance for success. If you do plan to tackle PR writing yourself, start with the typical questions that would be asked by any journalist: “Who, what, where, when, why and how?”  And -¦ don’t forget to add your contact information to the release.
  3. Put your PR efforts to work on social media.  Once you’ve got a great press release, and quality photography, you’ll want to make sure to spread the message through social media. Think of social media as the do-it-yourself (DIY) part of public relations. You can share links to any articles and media coverage of your business, and greatly increase the number of readers who will receive the information. If your business isn’t sure how to use social media, a marketing professional can easily teach your staff a few basics to start taking advantage of these important tools.

This October, thousands of media professionals will be charged with reporting stories about the SEMA Show. They will be looking for the products, project vehicles, and news that make the industry BUZZ. They will crowd the SEMA Press Room, looking for press releases, photos and contact information to help them do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible. This year, make sure your company and products are front and center with the important tools to provide you with the media attention you deserve. The media will be there, but will they visit your exhibit and cover your story?