This post is not about the skills you should have to run a business; it’s about what you need to do if you want media attention.
Unless your business revolves around something we absolutely must have, like water or you’re an expert in a medical specialism, you will need some level of publicity to survive. Often that publicity comes in the form of media interest – both from traditional outlets like a newspaper, or newer platforms, like social media.
If you want to get media attention then you need to be media savvy. Here are some tools and tricks to help you along the way:
- Be photogenic
Whether a journalist has called asking for your opinion on a big story or you’ve been invited to speak at an event, you will need a good quality, high-resolution photo available. Get it done now, and then when they ask for it you’ll have one ready to send immediately. For more on photos for business PR, read my post A Pictures Tells a Thousand Words.
- Create a media kit
If a blogger wants to interview you for an upcoming post or a podcaster invites you to be a guest on their show, they will want to know basic details about your business. This is where having a prepared media kit on hand will pay dividends for you.
- Sign up for SourceBottle
If you’re not already a SourceBottle subscriber, become one as soon as you finish reading this post. SourceBottle sends an email twice a day with media opportunities posted by journalists who are after experts in your area. You can also make yourself even more visible to the media by taking up one of SourceBottle’s expert profiles (you need to pay for this). I’ve written about getting the most from SourceBottle here.
- Be visible online
The first place anyone, including the media and your customers, go to find out more about your business is the internet. If they can’t find you online, you pretty much don’t exist. Whether you create a website or blog for your business, or choose one or two social media platforms to use, make sure you can be found online, and that you update that presence on a regular basis to keep the content fresh and relevant.
- Tell everyone what you’re doing
This sounds like a no-brainer, but unless you tell people what is happening in your business then they won’t know. This might be through regular social media updates, a newsletter or a networking event, but whatever your chosen method, don’t forget to blow your trumpet as often as possible.
- Make yourself available
You would not believe the number of times people have told me a journalist emailed or called and they didn’t respond because they were too busy, or it was their day off. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many business owners who can afford to throw away free publicity. However, that is exactly what you’re doing if you make yourself unavailable. Whenever you send out a media release, update your business Facebook page or upload a video to YouTube, make sure you have included more than one way of contacting you to find out more – and then make sure you respond.
Once you’re in the habit of making your business a target for media, watch the opportunities present themselves.
I’d love to hear your tips to media savviness. Comment below to spur other business owners on.