What to Do When the Reporter Calls: Five Tips for New (and not-so-new) Business Owners
New business owners often miss out on publicity opportunities because they think it's a nuisance to talk to reporters. In fact, publicity can be far more valuable than advertising. Media exposure can give your business profile a huge boost. You'll attract clients, customers and recruiters. More important, you gain credibility as an "expert" when you can post a copy of a published article on your website, office wall, or portfolio.
Getting attention can be challenging, so when you get a call, be ready! I've been interviewed many times and also conduct interviews as a freelance writer. Here's what I've learned.
1. Answer invitations promptly. Typically journalists email or call to set a time for an interview. These days they may post announcements everywhere from specialized public relations websites to informal networking groups. Clarify when you are available and how you can respond to a particular story.
2. Get creative! Before you say, "I'm not an expert in that area," look for an angle that allows you to showcase your expertise in a new light.
I'm often interviewed for relocation articles that deal with the stress of moving. But I can direct my expertise to articles that don't deal specifically with relocation. For an article about party sales, I might suggest questions like, "How can you sell to newcomers?"
3. Translate thoughts into stories. Suppose you're interviewed for an article, "Do successful business people really practice positive thinking?" Puffy statements like, "As a successful retailer, I think it's important to think positively," won't make good sound bites.
If you can say, truthfully, that sales tripled when you began a new visualization ritual, you've got a story to share. Or if you find the opposite -- success arrived on your most pessimistic, throw-in-the-towel day -- you've got another story.
4. Combine candor with care. Writers need meat for their stories, not just bare outlines. Don't make a writer tease out details. However, be aware that you're speaking on the record. Writers enjoy loose, informal conversations, and it's fair game to get you so relaxed you begin spilling information you wish you hadn't. When answering tough questions, choose words that puts you and your company in a favorable light.
5. Never, ever ask to see a copy of a story before it's printed. That's a major taboo in journalism and you'll come across as clueless. Writers rushing to meet deadlines rarely have time to share stories. They may have interviewed two dozen people for a single two-column story and they can't go back and call each one. Additionally, editors have the final say. Editors can delete whole sections, rearrange stories and change the writer's words. Writers themselves often have to grit their teeth and say, "Well, it goes with the territory."
Bonus tip: Write a brief email note to thank the writer, even if you're not one hundred percent pleased. Include a note indicating your willingness to be interviewed for other stories. "I also am available for stories on psychology and family life," you could add. A real estate agent could say, "I am available to comment on events and places that attract newcomers to the area."
Publicity is worth a whole lot more than the paper it's printed on. Become friends with the news industry and treat writers kindly, and you'll be surprised at the rewards that come your way. That's certainly been my own experience.
I offer one-to-one consultations on career strategy.
About The Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career. http://www.cathygoodwin.com.
"Ten secrets of mastering a major life change" mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: email@example.com 505-534-4294
Publicity: Write a Letter to the Editor for Free Publicity
Ever wonder why papers devote a page or more to letters to the editor? Because subscribers love to read them!
Editorial Calendars: A Key to Publicizing Your Business
What is the one thing that all of the best public relationsagencies do every year?
Writing A Press Release
News releases (also called press releases) are an important part of a public relations campaign. They are also an important part of marketing your business. They are the primary means of "selling" your story to the media. All press releases are structured the same way. Make sure youanswer "yes" to these key questions when writing your next press release:
How to Form a Relationship with a Newspaper
How do you make a good relationship with a newspaper so that you can get new contacts?
As the comedian Steve Martin once said, "some people have a way with words and some people have not way." Increasingly, I am seeing information from companies, particularly in news releases, that "has not way."
Time to Spruce Up Your Public Relations?
Better check out the public relations fundamental premise, then take action in your own best interest.
What? You Havent Got a Capability Statement?
What's a Capability Statement?
Building Credibility Through Bylined Articles
As if making sure your company runs smoothly on an operational level isn't responsibility enough, as a business owner, you're probably overseeing all aspects of your company's public relations program, as well.
Cultivating Positive Media Relationships
Some people think that publicity is all about paparazzi snapping photos of celebs and intruding into their private lives -- or as Woodward and Bernstein blowing the lid off of a government scandal. But, as a small business owner, publicity is actually one of your greatest allies! People who read about you in the newspaper or hear an interview with you on the radio will sit up and take notice -- much more notice than if they simply see a flier of yours posted at the Laundromat. But you have to be in charge of your relationship with the media, and make sure that it is a good one!
PR Buyers Beware!
It can bite you and waste your public relations budget when the program emphasizes communications tactics instead of how to make certain your key outside audiences understand who and what you are.
Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Its Not Who You Know But What You Know
Almost every day, I hear the same question, over and over, from motivated, well-meaning financial planners who want to use publicity in their marketing mix. It goes something like this:
Do You Really Need PR?
The right kind of PR, that is, the kind that puts you in charge of the care and feeding of a lot of people who play a major role in just how successful a manager you're going to be?
Publicity: Show a Reporter You Care by Inviting Them to Fact-Check
Just like a financial planning client fears not having enough money for retirement, reporters fear getting their facts wrong in print.
6 Essentials for Doing Your Own PR: Guest Author
Today's issue of Lean Marketing Champions features tips on doing your own PR from one of our authors and PR goddess, Paula Gardner.
Publicity Performance Not Enough?
Even after a nice piece in a national publication, or a stint on a popular talk show, do you still have a feeling that your public relations dollar could be better spent?
Media Relations: When Google Got Googled
Before meeting my soon-to-be-wife for the first time, I "Googled" her. Google, with its amazing alacrity, turned up several documents in less than a second.
The wind of changes...
Permanent Press: Using Press Releases to Keep Your Company in the News
When is your best advertisement not an advertisement? When it's a press release.
Media Kit: 25 Component Possibilities
Media kits include a combination of information whether created for electronic delivery or print. The number of components depends on the kit's focus and intention. For instance, an author's kit would include a different combination of information than a service business, or a multifaceted company or speaker.
Rise of the Creative Class
The fast changing dynamics of the world economy is forcing organizations to fundamentally rethink the manner in which they have been communicating with their constituent communities and decision-makers. It is constantly being proven that conventional communication approaches that are designed to raise public awareness may often have the opposite effects of those intended. This is because they fail to take into account the public's profound resistance to the traditional communication stimuli.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|