You don’t need a PR background or a big budget to get media coverage for your cleaning business.

There is a genuine thrill to seeing your cleaning company featured in the press, be it a newspaper, a magazine, or the nightly news. But the even more significant benefit comes from your ability to reach new customers this way. Media coverage has a reputation for giving small businesses a major boost—but the world of public relations can feel intimidating.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be rocket science. We put together this brief guide to getting press or media coverage for your cleaning business to help you get started.

Target journalists at local media outlets.

Because cleaning is a physical service, your business territory is going to be defined by geography. You don’t want to spend your energy marketing to people outside your boundaries. The good news is this simplifies your PR strategy since it means you can focus your energy on media outlets that primarily serve your community.

Do some research and make a list of the newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and TV stations that serve your target audience. Poke around their websites and find email addresses, phone numbers, and social media handles for the editors and hosts. These are the people you want to connect with. Keep everything organized in a spreadsheet.

Send press releases to announce important events.

A press release is a short announcement of a newsworthy event or story that you send to local media outlets. Press releases are pretty universal in how they’re written and used. So we like this guide to writing a good press release.

A press release is not like a flyer or a marketing email. In other words, you wouldn’t use a press release to share a special promotion or talk about your cleaning process. Instead, press releases are strictly for actual news.

Here are a few examples of headlines or topics that would be newsworthy:

  • Mama Bear Cleaners wins the local excellence award for customer service.
  • Mama Bear Cleaners partners with local nonprofits to provide free house cleaning for families in need.
  • Mama Bear Cleaners adds an eco-friendly cleaning service to support our town’s Green by 2030 mission.

These topics focus on a singular event or occurrence that is relevant to the people of the community. Your press release should do the same.

Here are a few tips for sending your release:

  • Send your press release to everyone on your list via email, with the title of your press release as the email subject line. You can paste the release in the email itself or attach it as a PDF with a very brief email.
  • Generally, the best time to send a press release is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday in the morning.
  • If you have a photo, including it will increase your likelihood of getting picked up. A photo makes your story more eye-catching if it does indeed get printed.

Introduce yourself to reporters as an industry expert.

Think about the last time you read a newspaper or magazine article or watched a documentary. The story probably featured an outside expert sharing their opinion or perspective, right? Being that outside expert is a great way to get your name in front of new customers. But first, those journalists need to know they can come to you.

Write an email introducing yourself. Be sure to focus strictly on your professional achievements and your areas of expertise. And you don’t have to focus on cleaning skills alone. Think about your other business skills: hiring, marketing, operations, and more.

As you’re writing, think about what the journalist wants from you. They want someone they can call to get a thoughtful, well-informed opinion on a topic. Tell them what you can do for them. From a marketing lens, they are your customer.

Send your introductory note and a picture of yourself to a few people on your list and invite them to chat via phone or meet for coffee. A good relationship with a good journalist can mean great things for your business.

Use social media to connect with reporters.

Whenever you send out a press release, you should also be posting it on your website and sharing a link on social media. But now, you can take it one step further by tagging the journalists from your list.

However, it will help if you’re strategic about this. If you keep tagging twenty people in everything you post, they’re going to get fed up pretty quick. So instead, pay attention to what each reporter on your list tends to focus on. For example:

  • If the woman at the local paper seems to cover a lot of environmental stories, tag her in your announcement about your new eco-friendly services: “Hey @jane, did you see this story about our contribution to the town’s green initiative? Call me if you want to talk!”
  • If you team up with a school or children’s charity, tag the editor at your city’s parenting magazine: “Hey @john, thought you might want to see this story about how a local small business is helping our community’s children.”

Mass-tagging everyone won’t get you anywhere, but a thoughtful tag on the right story can make all the difference. And don’t just tag reporters when it’s relevant. Instead, leave thoughtful and encouraging comments on their posts when it feels natural—and do not engage in inflammatory arguments. Comment sections can be incredibly toxic, and if you partake in the worst of it, that will reflect poorly on your business. Kindness is your best strategy.

Media coverage for your cleaning business can make a huge difference, and there’s a lot more to share on how to do it well.

Let us know in the comments what topics you”d like us to cover!