Saturday, August 7, 2010

Marketing Mishaps: Failing to Be Media Savvy

Marketing Mishaps: Failing to Be Media Savvy

Many business owners and entrepreneurs I meet seem quite reluctant to embrace traditional media as a way of promoting their businesses – primarily because they perceive it as too difficult, or too much work. The fact of the matter is that, with the exception of breaking news and sports, virtually everything you see reported in the traditional media outlets (TV, newspapers, radio, magazines, and journals) was pitched as an idea by either the reporter/editor/program coordinator or by the source themselves. Why shouldn’t you be that source?

Still, business owners are hesitant to send news releases or contact the media, seeming to have the attitude of, “They won’t want to talk to little old me.” As Cher said to Nicholas Cage in Moonsruck, “Snap out of it!” You’re right – they won’t want to talk with you if you approach it with that attitude. But if you change your approach and believe that what you’re doing and the things you have to say matter, the media may very well want to talk with you.

Entrepreneurs are idea people. They find creative solutions for problems that others merely complain about. And quite often, those ideas are incredibly newsworthy and interesting. But it’s a wide, wide, wide, wide world, and reporters and editors cannot be everywhere. So if you don’t let them know about you, how can they possibly cover you?

Some people choose to hire PR firms to do this work for them, but if you’re a small operation, that’s more than likely way out of your budget. It IS possible to get in front of the right reporter/editor/program coordinator at the right time to get into the media. You’ve first got to believe it’s possible – and then you’ve simply go to take action.

NOTE: I will provide a FREE tip about how to become a regular media source (value: $5,000+) to the first 5 people who e-mail me before Monday, 9 August!

Tools for Your Savvy Media Toolbox

Here are a few ideas you may want to pursue, with regards to making your business more media savvy:
  • An up-to-date headshot. This is considered two years old, or more recent.
  • A print-friendly logo. It's amazing the number of companies who do not have a logo, which goes a long way toward branding your business.
  • A media kit. This tells them exactly what makes you a good candidate for a radio or TV show.
  • Regular news releases. If you're not sending them regularly, you're missing opportunities.
  • An “In the News” section on your Web site. If you've been mentioned even once, you should create this. Chuck Scott and Sheri Nordstrom Scott, former students from my Want to Charge More? Start Writing! marketing classes, have a great media room on their Web site
  • A rehearsed 10-second, 30-second, and 60-second description of  what you do and why people should care. (When the time comes, you don't want to hem, haw, and um the reporter and/or audience to sleep.)
  • An article marketing campaign. (The other side of being covered by the media is contributing your own articles.)
In future posts, we’ll explore a few of these concepts in greater detail. For now, you’ve got one assignment: Get your Savvy Media Thinking Cap on and consider getting into the media game. You’ve got nothing to lose – and absolutely everything to gain.

This is Day 18 in the 60-Day Content Challenge. See you tomorrow for the next post!

Sign up today for Laura's next workshop, Want to Charge More? Start Writing! Or e-mail Laura your questions about making yourself more media savvy

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