Small business owners are missing opportunities every day to grow their business, by not harnessing the power of the media.

Generating free media coverage on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines can be easy to achieve. Best of all, you don’t need to hire an expensive Public Relations firm to do it for you. It takes only a small amount of know-how and some confidence to achieve some amazing results.

The benefits can’t be underestimated. Being on television or radio, in newspapers and magazines can drive thousands of dollars worth of new business to your door and make you an instant expert in your industry.

So, how does it work? The first key is finding a newsworthy angle. Here’s a four-step guide to coming up with something that the media will find interesting:

* Think about what’s happening in the news right now and how you can become a part of the story. For example, the economy and interest rates are always in the news. As interest rates rise, media outlets are looking for angles that help their audience cope. There are stories about how to shop on a budget, how to get the best mortgage deal, where to find the cheapest whitegoods, how to cut your power bill – the list goes on. Think of a solution that your business provides to people during tough economic times and then make this the basis of a media release.

* Think about current consumer trends. Where are consumers heading? Are they more interested in the environment, saving water (a big one for gardeners in summer), home renovating, self improvement, technical gadgets, or social media? Journalists love to be the first with news about the latest trends.

* Provide a comment. If there’s a story in the news that affects your business or impacts on your customers, put together some considered opinions and include them in a media release on the issue. Often, a media outlet will want to feature a story time and again and need a new angle to keep it going. If you listen to talk-back radio, there are countless opportunities to express your opinion every day.

* Make the news yourself. If you have a decent-sized database, run a poll of your clients on issues that relate to your business and then create a news story about it. For example, I recently saw a Subiaco real estate company conduct a poll on the re-naming of Subiaco Oval. They surveyed their subscribers to see if they were in favour of the new name. The results were included in a story in the local paper. The real estate company only has a loose connection with the issue, but they made the topic their own and by doing so, received some excellent free exposure for their business.

Once you have a great newsworthy angle, the next step is to prepare a press release to send to media.

Generating free publicity is not difficult, complicated or expensive. It’s easy to do it yourself for free.

© 2010 Home Biz Chicks

To learn how to craft a winning press release, how to pith it to the media and get published, join Sue at her upcoming Perth seminar How to Generate Free Publicity for Your Business on Dec 9h at Technology Park in Bentley. To find out more click here.

Author's Bio: 

Sue Papadoulis is Australia’s leading specialist in helping small businesses generate free publicity. A former journalist and radio news editor, she is the founder of the DIY PR Kit which provides step by step advice and templates to show you how to score free media coverage on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and online. Access Sue’s special video (valued at $279) How to Generate Free Publicity for Your Business free at