in: Public Relations
by: Sabina Hitchen
Spring Break (or any time of year that is celebrated with vacation time) when many a small business owner is planning a quick getaways with their family, friends or even solo is a great time to pack in some possible press or sales opportunities as well. Even if your trip only consists of a road trip to a nearby city, here's an idea that could possibly net you more brand buzz, new retail partners, and give you a couple hours of "fun work" to log, meaning you can enjoy the rest of your vacation that much more because you'll be riding high on your business success.
Press Opportunities: You're An Expert/Cool Feature Story "On Tour":
While packing your swim trunks or hiking gear for your upcoming vacations/road trips, be sure not to forget your media kits and a great outfit for on-air work or press coffee dates - because this is a great time to take your expertise or cool business story on the road! If you have a business that can share some cool or seasonal tips, if you are an expert with a great story and bit of advice to share, or if your business story or product is innovative and exciting, why not think ahead and try to book yourself some press in the city you are visiting.
Why not? This is what PR firms do for their clients regularly to maximize their media exposure, why shouldn't you? Call ahead to news stations in your destination city and pitch yourself as an expert on tour. Not sure how to figure out what press outlets are located where you're headed? Check out MondoTimes.com, they have a free search that will help you get started. These days you can also use Twitter and the news outlet's websites to get an understanding of what they cover story wise and what their style is. Have a one-sheet ( one page: short bio, talking points, headshot) and some great segment ideas ready to go and email them before you depart.
Connect with Local Twitter Trendsetters, Tastemakers & Influential Personalities from "Your World"
If you're unable to book a press meeting or interview while you're on vacation, check your social media feeds and your mental list of "who's who" in your niche in the town you're headed to. Do you see any opportunities to meet your Twitter friends in person? Perhaps you can connect with a tastemaker, blogger or other influencer in the area? Heck you can even grab a cocktail or coffee with a small business owner that you've emailed with or admired from afar.
Work Your Sales
I cannot tell you how many people I know, from co-founder Katie (who also has a product design business) to a very successful boardgame entrepreneur I know, who have used everything from business trips to spring and summer vacations as an excuse to reach out and share their products with local retailers in the area they're headed to. Whether you make appointments in advance or stumble upon a possible retailer for your products while you're on the boardwalk on holiday, be sure you always travel with a few samples (if that's possible), your media kit or sales kit, and an iPad or computer filled with images. Do your research before you get to your destination, and plan out an hour or two when you can hit the pavement. I have literally seen entrepreneurs approach hotel boutiques and make a sale, so don't be shy!
All three of these tactics could help put your business on the map in cities and locales other than your own! The best part? All you have to do is ask...and the worst they can say is no. Not a bad deal!
Believe in yourself and Bon Voyage!