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{Guest Post} Make Your Business Everyone Else’s Business

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

{Guest Post} Make Your Business Everyone Else’s Business

How To Make Your Business Everyone Else’s Business
Tips for attaining media attention for your business
Straight from a TV reporter!

via
   What's your hook?   

The key to making any story newsworthy is providing an element that is “out of the ordinary.” The one thing that makes you stand out from the rest. In Maine, a state the prides itself on local business, this can be very unique. So dig deep and create a brand that people haven’t seen before.

   Be compelling   
A newsroom’s main goal is connecting to the audience with emotion. Get to the heart of why your company exists. What was the reason for developing your business, product? Did you have a personal investment? Do you want to change the world with your mission statement? Did you overcome adversity
   Get involved   

One of the most important things for any business to do is get involved. If you’re new to the community, become a part of your community. Panera, an already established restaurant chain made headlines with its “Pay What You Want” campaign last year. The menu was kept the same, but guests were given the option of paying what they wanted to. It was a simple idea focused on helping feed the needy that got the county’s attention. It even inspired smaller restaurants to do the same.
   Timeliness   

News is focused on finding the “big story of the day.” Any event or issue that can tie into that will catch the attention of news managers. A kids attraction that opened in Bangor offered gluten free, home cooked meals as a way to offer healthier options to combat childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is an ongoing interest to the audience. Every year on 9-11, a lobster boat company in Bar Harbor donates its proceeds to first responders to recognize September 11th
   Connect with a newsroom   

With multiple televisions on all at once, email inboxes making noises when a new email is delivered, the flow of information that is being infiltrated in a newsroom is hard to keep up with. 

A newsroom’s email inbox is about as crowded as Yawkey Way on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. When you send a press release, it’s important to double, even triple check. Make sure you have the elements listed above and that you are clear and concise with your information. But even before you hit the send button, make sure there are no spelling errors and that you are sending it to the correct station. You’d be surprised to see how frequently city names are misspelled, the last thing you want is to become the joke of a newsroom. Another important thing is to make sure your story is visually appealing. If you’d like television coverage, visuals are extremely important — there’s nothing worse than an angry photographer!
If you don’t hear back from the news station after you send a press release, give the station a call. Be persistent but don’t be pushy. A news station’s job is to deliver stories that are important to their audience; it is not their job to give you free publicity. Silence doesn’t always mean no, it can mean that the reporter is busy. 
   Deliver   

When a shoot is set up, deliver! Get there early and be ready. Know what you are talking about and be prepared to deliver it in a concise manner. If you are nervous about the interview, don’t be afraid to tell the reporter. Remember: an interview is merely a conversation between you and another person. It is not live so you can always pause if you get nervous or lost in your thoughts. If for some reason you have to cancel, tell them immediately and preferably the day before.

   Follow up   
After the interview, follow up. Tell them what you thought of the piece. If you were satisfied, build a relationship with the reporter; it could lead to more coverage and more exposure. Reporters are always looking for story ideas, and who knows: yours could become the next “big story of the day.”

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For Suz's take on attaining publicity, writing press releases, and staging publicity stunts, see her thoughts here.
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Many thanks to our reporter friend and confidant {who prefers to stay anonymous in this post} for taking the time to share these helpful hints with all of us. We are forever grateful for the kind and knowledgeable people we've met through blogging — and this one's a real gem! xx

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1 Comments:

At October 11, 2011 at 3:56 AM , Blogger Kristi said...

What a timely post for me ;) Great tips!
-Kristi

 

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