media relations

#32 Getting visible with media, traditional and new

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?

Be visible

Christy Laverty Media Attention for Your Biz

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!

Branch out

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.

#11 Getting Media Attention for your Business

Getting media attention for your business is an incredible way to get great content that you can share with your audience, increase your credibility (if the media thinks you're an expert, so will other people!), and widen your reach and get more people knowing who you are.

This week's podcast is all about how to do that. I had the pleasure of not only interviewing Media and Communications consultant, Christy Laverty when we were both at the Blissdom Canada conference last week, but also rooming with her for a night and getting to know her in person!

We had a chance to record a chat about how you can get media attention for your business. During our chat she shared many great actionable tips that we can all take and use to get more media attention.

Here are some of the key take away points from this week's episode with Christy Laverty:

  • You don't need a PR company to be able to get media attention. In fact, many reporters and producers WANT to talk to the person the story is about and not a "professional".

  • Media is looking for story ideas so they welcome you sending ideas to them.
  • Make sure that you figure out what angle to pitch your story. You want to fit in with something that makes sense for the producer. They have no interest in running a story that turns out to be a commercial for your business - make it interesting for listeners first.
  • Add a different opinion or voice to an existing story. Media will talk about a topic a lot over the course of a couple of days, but they don't want it to always sound the same. Help them make it interesting.
  • Tell them how you want to be described when you're being introduced. This is your opportunity to include your website or a title you want to be known by.
  • Media relations is free, you probably couldn't afford to advertise to an audience of that size. 

How do you find out what stories to talk about?

Set up Google Alerts or Check Yahoo News. Sign up for The Skimm, an email service that curates news headlines for you. Follow the headlines and then figure out how you can make yourself useful within those topics.

How to pitch?

No need for a news release. Send a personalized email. Propose a story idea and then ask when they have time to talk about it further. Know that a lot of producers and reporters have funny hours so you need to make yourself available to them based on their timelines.

Follow them on Twitter. Look and see who reporters and producers are following because they often follow each other. 

Remember the value of relationships. By being helpful and available when needed, they will remember you when you ask them for something.

Go on a media binge/diet. Spend time listening, reading and watching the kinds of shows your audience would listen to, read and watch. Make sure you understand the kinds of stories they run and how your story fits with that before you make a pitch.

Links & additional resources

Follow Christy online for more great information on building relationships with the media and getting media attention:

Christy A. Laverty's website

Christy on Facebook

Christy on Twitter

The Skimm

Google Alerts

Yahoo News

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