How to Engage Local Press for Free

Any press is good press but free press is even better. To run a successful operation, your public awareness has to be at a fairly high level. Traditional advertisements work, but these can be expensive to the point where your return on investment makes the advertisement not profitable.

Here are some tips to get your local press to feature you for free:
Find Relevant Press


"Your local press and online publications can be a great way to boost your presence in the community." (Image by Jon S, used under CC)

Not every outlet will be a relevant avenue for press. Find the ones that are relevant for your message. Don’t forget, online publications can be a lot more effective than traditional forms of media. Our tip is to first create a list of all of the publications that are read by people who would join a martial arts school. Once the list is set up, find a way to contact them to run a story. However, your story has to be something they are interested in running.

Provide Value

The easiest way to get free press is to create value for the publication. It’s essential to think about what makes a publication successful: readership. When creating content for them, you’ll have to think about what will get them excited about an article getting lots of views and shares. The easiest for most publications is to create a feel-good article or pitch. Do something new and positive in your community that people who are not already interested in martial arts would be interested in reading. Perhaps you’ve significantly increased the quality of life for a disabled person at your school. Maybe you could make sandwiches and deliver them to people in need. Many school owners don’t think about it but fundamental martial arts values are highly positive and make for great press.

Network

Get their employees through your door somehow. By framing an invite to a publication and their employees as an open house, you can entice them to come by and visit without seeming needy. Provide a great experience then go on to talk about how you could be a feature in their publication that would make sense for both parties. As a community hub, there should be a lot of different aspects to discuss, especially if you work with a range of age groups.

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