This month we’re celebrating everything Music and Media. As a small business owner, it’s important to learn how to woo the media to gain critical exposure for your business.
Not sure where to get started? Or do you want to build on your media experience? We’ve got you covered!
Before contacting any press or media outlets, make sure you are prepared and have all the information that they might ask for. A media kit should include everything a reporter might need to write or produce a story about your company. This includes your logo, executive headshots, videos, links to any online demos or free trials, social media profile links and any product images you may have.
You also need to do some research before you pitch your story to a journalist. Make sure that your pitch is not mismatched with the publications style of writing or audience. Also make sure you contact the right person for the job. There are many journalists that work in media outlets. Get to know the journalist that will be the most beneficial to you. Once you have all this information create and maintain a media shortlist, this will include a spreadsheet of media outlets, reporters and any other contacts in the media industry.
Start with the local media in your immediate area. Let them know that you are an expert within your industry by sending them email every 3 months and let them know that you are available for interviews. When pitching yourself or a piece of news, start off by mentioning a piece of their work that you have recently read or heard and add to that story with your own opinion.
A very important point to take note of is to not become a nag or a bother to the journalist. Never become an annoyance to the journalist. Don’t cost your company the opportunity for coverage by being pushy or obnoxious.
Most journalists today maintain a professional presence on Twitter and Facebook. Start following the reporter’s posts, and look for opportunities where your knowledge could build upon a piece he or she has done. When you find a piece that you can add value, tweet at the journalist by using their Twitter handle with your tweet. Facebook is another way of engaging with journalists and media outlets. Share their stories and comment on their posts. Most journalists are mobile savvy and will get the notification right away on their mobile phones – be sure not to overdo direct tweets and comments.
Before you go share and tweet make sure all your social media branding is safe. Secure any domains, Twitter handles and Facebook profiles related to your company from the very start. You want to make sure that if someone had to find you on social media they can do so easily.
Stay in the loop and make yourself be known. Attend local events and invite media to your special events. Make sure you introduce yourself and give as many people a business card so that they will know to contact you in case they need any information about your industry.
Help the community around your business in times of need. Organising or contributing to charitable drives will help get your name and your company’s name recognised in a positive light in your community. When the press covers a charity in your area, they will often mention other companies that may be assisting that charity. It is a great way to pay the community back and to get the media’s attention.
After all the research, planning and work completed, don’t mess it all up by being unavailable when the media contacts you. Journalists work under extremely tight deadlines, be easy to reach by phone and return calls immediately. If you don’t deliver information on time you won’t be contacted a second time around by a journalist or media outlet.
These simple 5 practices will not only get you familiar with media, but they will help you build experience and knowledge with working with the media. Start off small and grow your media plan as your company expands.
Are you looking for a local event to attend – have a look at what amazing event the Nairobi Garage has lined up for you.