Maybe you are at the top of your game and wonder why the media is not ringing your phone off the hook – dying to cover your story or hear your words of wisdom.
Or maybe you're an entrepreneurial newbie who wants to use the media to gain competitive advantage.
Or maybe you're somewhere in between.
No matter where you are, you are probably reading this blog because you desire more media coverage.
So, here are my handy dandy tricks to getting more media coverage for your business.
Do your homework
Want a specific outlet or reporter to cover your business? Know that outlet inside and out. Know exactly what that reporter covers and how they cover it. Set Google Alerts on the journalist's name and devour all of their stories. Follow them on Twitter.
If you're slacking off on your media homework, get back in gear.
Do you ever feel "icky" when someone consistently asks for favors?
Pitching the media can quickly adopt that "ick" factor if your communication sounds like:
"Write about me! Write about me! My business is awesome! Are you serious that you do not want to cover my business?
Bulldoze this lame strategy and start building relationships with the media that matter. Remember, you are not trying to get ONE placement – your goal is to get ongoing coverage with your target media outlets.
If you are pitching someone that you've never connected with before, start out with a personal introduction rather than launching right into your pitch. Then ….
Offer your expertise
The media are always looking for great sources to round out stories. Introduce yourself, share your credentials, and let them know you're available 'round the clock for quotes and insight.
Adopt the "voice" of the media outlet
No two media outlets are alike. If you read two fashion magazines cover-to-cover, you'll notice the difference. Same goes for TV, radio, blogs, and other media outlets. When writing your media pitch, try to adopt the tone and voice of the outlet.
Check Media Kits
A media kit is a package of promotional material typically shared with advertisers that provides insight into the audience demographics, readership stats, and sometimes an editorial calendar. Many national magazines have media kits online that are available to the public. This provides valuable insight for you to see what the target age, income, etc of the outlet is and the editorial calendars provide insight on future issues and topics.
Reporter Lead Services
Reporters use services like HARO ( http://www.helpareporter.com ) and Profnet to search for experts, products, etc for upcoming stories. HARO is free and is conveniently delivered to your inbox daily. Profnet is a paid service, but the quality of outlets that post there is often worth the price for serious entrepreneurs looking for press coverage.
Create a list of tips based on your expertise (example: 10 Ways to Lose Weight at Work) and send to appropriate media outlets. These "lists" are often used in magazine sidebars, on blogs, and can combine nicely with visuals for TV segments.
Surveys / Statistics
Survey your customers and report the findings to the media. For example: 70% of clients stated that they lost more weight during the holidays than any other time of year. Why? Because they were more conscious about gaining holiday weight. A study like this could be a great lead-in to a story on continuing your weight-loss deduction post-holiday.
Tap Freelance Writers
Freelance writers develop stories for all kinds of media outlets. When you see an article that makes you think "I should have been a part of that," Google the writer's name and reach out with a brief introduction and offer yourself as a future source.
Have clients ready to go
If you're a service professional, author, or expert and the media agreements to a story, they may ask to interview some of your clients to round out the piece. Set this in motion now by obtaining permission and testimonials from 2-3 clients that are willing to talk to the media. These folks will need to be OK with their full name, location, and other information being made public as well as be OK with being photographed or appearing live on television.