4 Steps To Gaining Coverage By The Media
Over the years, I have had many opportunities to speak on or moderate panels covering topics such as marketing, public relations, and promotion. Most of these have been in the field of music and emerging artist strategies, and the “bigger picture” approach that we often recommended to young musicians can also be applied to any other venture or industry.
For those with a great product, business, or music project, we’ve often had questions about how to be covered by the mass media. Not everyone is ready to hire a marketing or public relations firm, but that doesn’t mean one can’t set themselves up to properly attract and handle inquiries from bloggers, journalists, and inquisitive customers.
The below 4 points can help you take the next steps towards attracting the media:
A Solid Biography or Mission Statement:
Tell your story in the least amount of words possible, and include the details of what makes your products or services special. This self-descriptive piece can be one of the most effective ways to quickly give a journalist the information they need to write a review or feature. This content can also help your customers and industry contacts learn more about who you are and what your business is about. Remember, keep it short, concise and respect the time of those you are trying to attract.
A Media Page with Assets:
Have critical assets that describe your products or services readily available for download upon request. Many companies have a media or press page on their website with download links to an official logo and press, product, and staff photos. If you don’t want to host these on your website, I recommending using a file storage solution such as Box.net or Dropbox.
Social Media Consistency:
It’s easy to get distracted by all of the social media options out there. However, as you may have noticed in 2014, simple is in: clean style with a minimalist approach is the key to driving home your message in an otherwise cluttered online landscape. I challenge you to maintain just a few social media pages, and be sure to update them consistently with quality content to have the greatest impact.
Quality Relationships with Tastemakers:
Having good rapport with the gatekeepers that can feed awareness for your brand is a crucial element of building a successful business, and taking the time to introduce yourself to local press via email or phone is a great way to begin a dialogue about what your company is all about. You may not have the same immediate results as you would if you hired a public relations firm, but it’s an effective and affordable way to get started. My company Airtime PR was started this way; we hit the phones, sent emails, and requested in-person meetings with individuals and publications that we thought would find our story appealing.
Finally, it’s important to remember that your customers are likely to take their opinions online in some form or another. Whether it’s via social media, their own blog, or as part of a topic-specific forum, these comments can help organically spread awareness of their experience with your brand to their peer groups. For more on this concept, reference chapter 2 in Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point,” which drives home the The Law of The Few: Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen.