One important element you’ll want to convey when you’re looking for project funding is proof of concept for your business idea. Any funder is going to want to see not only a solid business plan, but also evidence that your idea has been vetted and has garnered some public interest.
Your local media can help you with that. You can work with them to get local coverage of your idea that will help build buzz and provide third-party evidence that the idea is solid.
Contact the Newspaper
Visit the website of your local newspaper to find the name and email address of the business reporter. Then prepare a pitch email that describes your business idea and the elements that make it unique and worthy of media coverage. For example, if you’re looking to build a new hotel or apartment complex, you could let the reporter know the number of jobs you’d be creating both for the construction phase and ongoing operations.
Help the reporter out by suggesting experts in the field they can interview to discuss the idea, the industry, and the benefits to the community.
Don’t Discount TV
If your business idea includes a nice visual element, the local TV morning show might be a good bet to get publicity. For example, if you’re trying to fund a new restaurant, host a live event where you share the food you’ll offer on the menu. Morning shows love food-based segments.
To prep for a TV interview, enlist your business partner or a friend to ask you questions. Then you can practice incorporating your business talking points into your answers so that you sound natural when you’re on television. Also, be prepared for an early morning — you’ll likely need to be on location and ready to go at 5:00 a.m.
Enlist Help to Boost Engagement
After your story runs in the newspaper or on TV, it will also likely be posted on the media outlet’s website. Ask your friends to help by posting comments on the page. Then visit the page yourself to address any questions posted there and keep the discussion flowing.
One drawback to internet comment sites is the potential for people to post inappropriate comments. If you see spammers or unrelated negative comments, feel free to flag them to keep the discussion civil. Do not automatically flag something just because it is negative. You can respond to negative comments with further information — or wait for the community to respond.
Local media can be of great help in getting people excited about your business idea — and landing funding.