Despite the global popularity of social media, traditional media remains a key way to raise both your individual profile and the profile of your brand/business. Just like social media, dealing with newspaper, radio and television journalists comes with its own set of challenges. The benefits of being featured in a publication, or on a radio or television show that your target audience sees, are many and far-reaching. So where do you start when you want to promote you and your company in the traditional media?
Choose your media outlet
Your goal is to reach as many potential customers as possible with your message. Find out what your target audience reads, listens to and watches and use these channels to promote your story. Using a hard news and current affairs show to target 20 year olds won’t give you the return you are looking for. Focusing your efforts on a large national newspaper may be worthless if your target customer base is very local.
Once you are familiar with the media favoured by your target audience, monitor the type of content and the kind of stories they favour. See how it aligns with your field of expertise. Identify areas where you feel you could add value or contribute.
Make Your Contribution
Once you have decided where to focus your energy, you need to create a ‘story’ about you or your brand. Ensure you are offering journalists something that their audience will like, as well as your own audience. Remember:
- Write a catchy subject line in the email
- Avoid large attachments that may clog their inbox
- Conclude with a contact email and phone number
- Be available to take a call
You may be able to offer new and original insights on a topic they are currently covering, or you may be able to give your opinion or a fresh perspective on a story.
How to speak to the media
Prepare three key messages that you want your target audience to hear, and stick to these messages. Ensure that they come across in all your communications.
Avoid jargon, if you must use industry specific terms, explain them. Everyone will not understand the lingo specific to your industry, but they will understand you key message and values.
Be truthful and accurate at all times. If you are being quoted in an article or news piece, keep your comments short and on-message. Longer comments or quotes may distort your message. And remember, you are always ‘on the record’!
Now that you have these three great tips, go forth and conquer!