BY EMMA PEPPER, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC NETWORK COMMUNICATIONS, THE HUB
Last month, Amy McLaughlin, owner of the Fayetteville getaway Lafayette Flats, got her business featured in newspapers across the nation – for free.
When the Associated Press was writing a story on family portraits, they thought of Amy’s new and unique business idea – offering portraits from Charleston-based artist Ian Bode as an add-on option for guests at Lafayette Flats. The article published by the Associated Press was picked up by media outlets from across the county.
How did Amy get this attention? It started with honing her media outreach and relationship-building skills while working as ReStore Director of Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam.
Amy shares her advice:
“I had a lot of success at Habitat for Humanity by using content marketing to get online attention from freelance writers and reporters. When we had a trendy, new or problem-solving program at the ReStore, I would write a blog post about it using popular/important keywords and share the heck out of that post. On more than one occasion, freelance writers and reporters reached out to me asking for more information. This worked for our latex-paint recycling program in 2012, the Double Take Art Show in 2015 and our TableScape Championship in 2017. Writers use Google more than anyone! Additionally, I’ve always found that nurturing relationships with writers is much more efficient than trying to develop new ones. After I work with a reporter/writer on one story – regardless of the story’s focus – I keep in contact with him/her and offer up new ideas as appropriate.”