As someone with expertise in media relations, I've been asked if media coverage and publicity can build an online business. The real question is whether what happens offline really matters online. And answer is unquestionably, "Yes!"
Here are ten reasons why media coverage can help your online business grow:
1. Every one of us, even if we spend four to eight hours a day in front of a computer screen in our underwear, still lives in real world. Our opinions, desires, priorities, and decisions are heavily influenced by television, radio, books, magazines, and newspapers. Every business, online or offline, can benefit from positive media exposure.
2. Almost no business can afford to be absent from Internet these days; even a local real estate agent gains a competitive edge from having a web site. By same token, an online business gains a strong advantage by having an offline presence. Online and offline marketing of all types support each other.
3. Search engines won't bring most web site owners business. I just did a Google search for "books", and found about 85.2 million entries. Ninety-five percent of searchers will likely click on first two (Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com), most of others will never get to second page of searches. This means that 85,199,990 web site book sellers cannot rely on search engines. How about searching for word bookstore? Still almost seven million entries, and guess who top two are?
4. You can't cheat search engines. Try a search for books and carpentry. The odds are much better, with only 106,000 entries. That still means 105,990 web site book sellers will rarely be found. How about books and promotion? Almost two million entries. If a million carpentry book sellers are reading this article, five are smiling. The rest will only smile with an offline presence, such as a great article in their local newspaper or a call-in show on a radio station half way across world.
5. The media can create interest in your product or service if they feature you as part of an interesting story. Online or offline, that's what media coverage does. A good story is gold.
6. The media is just starting now to wake up to exciting things happening online. Timing is everything and this is time.
7. The media are now working increasingly online. The online and offline worlds are converging more than ever before. Articles that appear in local papers, industry magazines and even commentary on radio broadcasts find themselves on Internet. That can often mean powerful links to your web site. Publicity offline means promotion online.