Christy Laverty joined me last fall on one of my first podcasts and I invited her back to discuss how to get in front of traditional media using new media. Christy has worked in the media and knows how it works. She offers some great media insights and tips to help business owners make the right moves to get media attention. So, how can you get the attention of traditional media?
Getting in front of the media ups your visibility, but in order for the media to find you, you must be visible. How can you be visible? Get online. For example, a social space like Twitter is a great place to build your know, like and trust factor – especially with reporters and journalists who are also on spaces like Twitter. Journalists and editors are online and they are reading and following. So, the more online you are, the more visible you are, and the more likely you are to be featured in traditional media.
Engage and ask
Have you ever wondered why one person always gets featured in the media? That person is always on TV or the radio talking about something you could easily talk about too? That person is probably more visible online and they probably asked to be there. You have to build relationships with traditional media through new media by engaging with them and making your message clear. Producers and editors are constantly looking for ideas and want people to purpose ideas, so get out there and don’t hesitate to present your ideas to traditional media. Newsrooms are doing more with less and appreciate help creating content - just ask!
Don’t stick with just one online space – guest blog or be a guest on podcasts. Know the content, know the audience and see where you can branch out. The more out there you are, the more you prove yourself as an expert in what it is you do. Then, build your list of traditional media using social networks. Twitter is a great place to build your list. Create a spreadsheet or list of media you would like to be featured on then listen and watch their content and find the right fit for you.
Can it be done alone?
If you are a solopreneur or small business a PR agency can cost a lot of money, which can be hard on your budget. Yes, a PR company can do the work for you, but you also have to take the time to teach them about your business and what it is you want to say through the media. Also, the contacts belong to the PR company, not you… so, by doing it yourself you are building valuable relationships you can call your own. It will take time and work, but the key is to use social media and focus on media relations. Make contacts, add journalists, editors, etc. and focus on them – listen, retweet and share their content. This is making effective use of your time online. If you don’t have time, consider hiring a virtual assistant to help build your media contacts and relationships. These relationships will be yours and yours alone to do with as you will.
You know what message you want to put out there, so start by taking the time to build your media relationships online and work your way into their content. That way when you are ready to pitch them they will know who you are and are more likely to feature you and your business.
If you struggle with finding the right media contacts or can’t seem to focus on the right media strategy or plan, Christy has a great Facebook Group that helps entrepreneurs approach the media. She discusses how to contact them (remember, they are people too!) and what to say to convince them that your message should be in front of their audience.