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Five ways small business can get more media

Five ways small business can get more media

I always say to our experts, don’t be the best story never told. While you’re working hard to create a successful business, strategic media helps people understand and embrace your brand.

There aren’t any real guarantees with media… aside from the fact the competition to be a go-to expert is always going to be strong.

Think about all the people in your industry who have been around as long as you. Each of them will have an opinion and position on the issue of the day in your industry that they’re willing to share. The field is broad, so how do you carve out a space and get yourself on media speed-dials?

The first important step is to pitch with a strong email subject line. Think about the media you’re pitching to and work out what the ‘hook’ is – then make that your subject line in seven words or less to get their attention. The Media Board that Media Stable produces is a classic example of this, it’s daily content produced for the media by media professionals.

The second step is to make sure you’re consuming the media you want to appear in. Listen to that radio program, read that publication or watch that TV show to understand what kind of experts are interviewed regularly. Usually they look for case studies that reflect their audiences, so use this intel to craft a pitch that’s tailored to them and impossible for a producer or editor to ignore.

The third step is to reach out and let the media know you have a particular expertise or skill and that you’re available for comment and content on tap. Young producers and journalists are looking to build up their connections and sources. A proactive approach will win you connections, relationships and future opportunities. A simple email to detail your expertise and the type of stories you can comment on really does work.

Make sure you have your bio and headshot ready to send at a moment’s notice. A professional headshot is critical for media and it can’t be a selfie or a holiday pic. When you write an opinion piece (op-ed) and get it in the newspaper the first thing the editor asks for is a profile picture to go with the piece – in fact, you really should attach the image to your original pitch. Professional photos make a big difference and any branding expert will tell you it’s critical for both your business and personal profile.

The last hack to getting more media is to think like the media. Ask yourself these questions: Would anyone else find this interesting? Would an audience react or engage with this content? Is it original? Is it adding value to the conversation? Too often we produce content that is important to us and not to the targeted audience. The media has an obligation to serve their audience, if you take this approach your content you will be far more successful.

These are all helpful hints to becoming a media asset and you can employ them yourself.

I highly recommend working with experts in the communications space to bounce ideas off them, and make sure that you’re generating content that has a good chance of getting through the media gatekeepers.

Like I said earlier… don’t let your story be the best one never told.

By Nic Hayes, Managing Director, Media Stable.

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