Gain Media Coverage for your HVAC Business
Posted on: December 23, 2015 | by: Will Housh
Have you ever turned on the news or picked up the paper, only to see your competition interviewed as an expert on heating and cooling topics? Media coverage can be a valuable piece of advertising for your business; it puts you in the position to share your knowledge with the public, educating members of your community on HVAC issues that are relevant in their lives, all while framing you as an expert on the subject.
Media coverage packs a big bang. It’s highly valuable advertising for your business, giving you credibility and visibility, for no cost except your time. Purchasing advertising can set you back thousands, and may not have quite the impact as a strong story featuring your business on a respected news station, or in a highly-regarded newspaper or magazine. And once you’ve gained this valuable coverage, you can continue to use it to your company’s advantage by incorporating it into your marketing materials, sharing on social media, and more.
So How Can You Secure Valuable Media Coverage For Your Business?
Craft a great pitch
If you have a topic you’d like to take to a media outlet, you need to create a great pitch in order to sell your story. Think hard about what is special about your product or service, what is your unique angle or special knowledge on a relevant HVAC topic. Media outlets want to provide value to their viewers and readers, so whatever your topic, highlight the value your business can provide.
- Make sure your pitch is seasonally relevant; heating related in the winter, cooling related in the summer.
- If current news lends itself to an HVAC story, such as rising natural gas prices or household efficiency studies, contact reporters to chime in.
- When submitting a story for publication, make sure your article meets the publication’s editorial guidelines, which are typically listed on their website.
- Make sure you are pitching factual content about a relevant topic, not a promotion for your business (though don’t miss an opportunity to include a byline or “about the author” section following the article which includes your company name).
Do your research
Simply sending an email to the first reporter or editor listed won’t win you coverage. You want to put your pitch in the right hands; research reporters and find those that cover your topic, whether it be local business, energy efficiency, consumer information, or another subject. Submit your pitch only to those who would be interested, and include as much detail as possible.
Doing some research before you start reaching out will make sure you’re working efficiently while also increasing your success. This will be your start toward building relationships with reporters, producers, and editors who may turn to you when a story comes up and they’re in need of a knowledgeable and reliable source in the HVAC industry.
Never miss a deadline
The news world moves quickly; if your business is given an opportunity to participate in a story, do not delay. Your delay could mean the difference in having your company featured, or a competitors because they were able to supply the needed information sooner. Communicate clearly and quickly, putting other tasks aside to keep your schedule open for media accommodations.
Prepare for your interview
When a reporter contacts you to schedule an interview, ask what your focus should be and the angle they will take with the story. This information will allow you to effectively prepare for the interview, and hopefully erase any anxiety you have. Study up on the topic at hand; you’ve already told the media you’re an expert, so make sure you have the knowledge to back up that claim.
If you have examples of the topic at hand, use these to put a face on the subject. Tell a story about a customer which highlights the point of the story. Come prepared with statistics if they are relevant to the story.
Finally, take some time to refine your interviewing skills. Practice will help you speak clearly and confidently during your interview.
Have any tips for preparing a great HVAC story pitch? How has your business benefited from participating in a news story? Tell us below.
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