Newsflash: Home Performance is a good story. For a low up-front cost, a home performance upgrade can help homeowners stay more comfortable in their homes forever, while saving money on energy bills, breathing healthier air and reducing their environmental impact.
Most importantly, it's not a fairy tale. In a world of too-good-to-be-true pitches, the Home Performance process represents a real, valuable, compelling offer for just about everyone. Throw in the incentives that are often available, and it's a no-brainer.
But Home Performance by itself doesn't provide anything entirely concrete for a journalist to build a story on. That's where you come in. You're the face of Home Performance in your region, and your happy customers are the proof of the value of what you offer.
Why Press is Important:
Getting some press represents an incredible opportunity for your business. Simply put, PR drives sales.
If it's local press, everyone who reads the story is a potential customer, and the phone calls will almost certainly pick up.
In short, a good story about your company and how it's helping homeowners and/or business owners in your region is an opportunity that should be grabbed if you chance upon it.
Developing Relationships with Journalists and Bloggers:
We won't argue that you should be a slave to opportunism, but in this day and age, social media can be a great way to develop relationships with writers and bloggers in your area so that they'll be more likely to pick up a story about the home performance offer should the opportunity arise.
Social media can be a great place to do this. Twitter, in particular, is a great way to develop personal, conversational relationships with local writers. Befriend them online, retweet stories or tweets they post that are relevant to your peers and customers, kick them a #followfriday tag, so on and so forth.
Just keep in mind that no writer wants to be hounded or pitched to constantly. Make friends first, call in favors down the road if it seems appropriate.
If you are fortunate enough to get some local press coverage for your home energy business, remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Well, maybe there is, but you can at least make some effort to reciprocate the good will of the journalist, keep the relationship developing, and increase the chances that other journalists will pick up the story, or that the same writer will give you some additional coverage down the road.
Leverage Your Network, Build Goodwill:
If you get some press, link to it on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Write a blog post on your website kicking a link back to the original article. Online media today is all about traffic (increased traffic means increased advertising revenue), and writers will be psyched to see you doing everything in your power to drive traffic to their article.
Other ideas for drawing attention to your good press, and driving traffic back to the original source:
- Send a newsletter
- Create a page on the "News" section, or blog, of your website, linking to the original article
- Use a quote in your email signature and include a link
- Link to the article in social media; tag the source
Have you had any good luck with acquiring press for your business in your region, or nationally? Any other ideas for leveraging that press to help your business and develop your network? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!