Tips for Connecting with Traditional Media
Social media is an excellent way to spread the word about your small business, but what if your audience is not that tech savvy? Or, you simply want to broaden your reach? Traditional media outlets such as print magazines and television talk shows are another great way to secure exposure for your company. Before you start contacting reporters consider these tips to grab your target’s attention.
Find the right medium – Who is your market? Check if your library subscribes to eMarketer or MarketResearch.com. These are both great sources of consumer data. Select a media organization and format that is likely to reach your target audience. Read articles, listen to or watch episodes produced by the organization. Familiarize yourself with the content and types of stories that they cover.
Personalize your pitch – Mass emails rarely catch reader’s attention. Find a media contact whose style and stories fit with your idea. Follow him or her on twitter, read their content, consider their interests, and direct your pitch accordingly when you contact them.
Keep it exclusive – Pitch to one individual, at one media outlet, at a time.
Provide a hook – Make it interesting. Journalists are looking for a story that will entertain and engage the audience. Try to link your product to an event or shifts in the industry.
Be clear and concise – Like you, journalists are busy! Choose your words with care and provide a short, easy-to-scan pitch. If you are emailing them, make sure you have an eye-catching, informative subject line and include the content directly in the email.
Be prepared – Be ready to interview immediately! Journalists are often working on tight deadlines. If you put them off for a week to prepare, you may lose your opportunity.
Be an authority - Being able to speak with authority about your industry can also help you gain media exposure so be sure to educate yourself on industry trends and developments. Check out SBA’s industry specific Accelerator Guides to get started!
For more information on pitching to the media see:
Burke, A. (2011, May). Ten PR tips for small businesses on a budget. Globe and Mail
McIntyre, M. (2012, April) How to respond when your business receives media inquiries. The Metropreneur Columbus.
Young, S. (2012, May). How to pitch your news story to the Wall Street Journal. Get in Front Communications
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo Microphone created by Hidde de Vries on June 22, 2007. Photo made available under a Creative Commons Generic 2.0 licence. Last viewed on May 23, 2012.