Having your business featured on TV, the radio, or in the news is an ego boost and usually means an uptick in sales. Being featured in news stories and write-ups can also mean that you become an authority on a subject, which adds to your marketing efforts. Being able to tell your customers and clients that you were featured in a major publication helps with branding. And, let’s face it: it feels great to be acknowledged for your work.
So how can you get your idea featured live and in print? There are many ways to catch the eye of writers, journalists, and producers:
Make your story appealing
Make sure that you have something to offer. Do you have useful tips that can save customers money or protect them in some way? Is your startup impressive because you bootstrapped your way to six figures in just months? Keep in mind that professionals in the media are interested in their audience – not in generating more business for you. Telling people that you are having a sale is not interesting to a journalist. Being a locksmith who knows the six most-often picked locks is something that would interest a writer.
Once you know what you can offer, consider how well you can get your message across. Get media training so that you can give interesting sound bites when speaking to reporters. Even if you never end up on the news, media training is a powerful skill to have in your arsenal. It’ll teach you to speak confidently and banish awkward pauses and “ums” from your speech forever.
Go to where writers and journalists are
First stop: sign up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and get serious about answering any relevant requests for interview subjects and information. Absolute Write Water Cooler and WritersWeekly both have forums where journalists and writers can search for interviewees. Don’t forget Twitter in mind – use the search function to look for “interviewees wanted” and other keywords.
Make yourself easy to find
Join social media and make connections with freelance writers who show up in the magazines and news shows that interest you. If you notice a journalist writing about your field, comment on a few of their stories or send them a note. Make friends with those in the media and they are more likely to think of you when they need an expert to interview.
Get in touch with the alumni magazine at your college – if you’ve enjoyed some success, they may be happy to profile you. Does your business have a website? Create a media kit online and include contact information.
Pitch your own ideas
You don’t have to wait for producers and journalists to call. Most newspapers, TV shows, and news agencies have a section on their website that lets you send in ideas. You can also write your own press releases and submit them to PRweb. Just make sure that your story idea is news-worthy and not a promotional pitch for your company.
Editors, writers, and producers are always hungry for good news stories and ideas. If you have something to say and can say it well, you could just find yourself featured in magazines, newspapers, and in the news. Market yourself to the media – not just to potential leads – and you may find new opportunities waiting for you.