Successful media presence isn't luck. You work at it; building your brand on social media and through traditional media outlets, over time. If you only post once in a while or do one local TV interview, you won't get much traction.
Small business owners wear so many hats that media isn't always seen as a priority. My recommendation is to bring in a media consultant and learn the basics. Then you can practice on your own and become as media savvy as you need to be to compete. A few things to consider as you fine tune your media presence...
- Frequency matters. Set aside a certain day of the week, or a targeted time each day for social media. Use tools to pre-schedule your posts and to post across platforms to save time.
- Regardless of the platform, your messaging needs to be consistant. I'm not talking about writing styles or even tone, but what your company stands for.
- You Tube and other video platforms are great ways to communicate, but if your videos go far off your normal messaging, that's a problem. Your customer base may be confused about your products or services.
- TV news producers mine social media for items to share on their traditional media platform. If your news is relatable to a large enough group of people, it could end up on the local news or even on a network news program. A feel-good story works on both social and traditional media.
- So would you be ready to do an on-camera interview at the spur of the moment?
- Just as Twitter requires brevity, broadcast interviews require concise responses. Speaking in soundbites doesn't come naturally to everyone but it is a skill you can learn.
- What if traditional media doesn't come calling? Instead you pitch to them. Again, you need to keep it short. Before any pitch, ask your self, "who cares about my news?" You'll need to first convince a gatekeeper on the news desk that your story matters to viewers, listeners or readers. Be crystal clear in your pitch, or it's a lost opportunity.
- You know the demographics of your client base or potential clients. If they typically do not get their news from TV, your time may be better spent reaching them through other platforms.
- Regardless of where you land, you need feedback on your media presence. It could come from a brutally honest friend or a communications' professional. If something works, use it again. If it bombed, revise.
- As you grow your media presence be aware of your motivation. Is it strictly to attract more customers? Or, do you have a desire to share your knowledge with an audience who can benefit from what you have to say? Or, perhaps you just launched your company and you're looking for greater name reconition. Sometimes, people take to the media to right a wrong or champion a cause. In a best case scenario for business owners, they're sharing "news they (the audience) can use," getting name recognition and potentially growing their client base at the same time.
- Before I work with clients, I ask them to answer this question: "What is unique about you and your products/services/cause/or campaign?" It is important to nail that before trying to convince others of your value. There is a skill to talking yourself up, in person or in the media, without looking overly boastful and possibly aliening the very people you want to impress.
Media training is not a one size fits all course. Your experience, goals, budget and time all factor in to it.
Women Media Pros offers virtual training in one-hour increments, in-person mini sessions, and day-long in-person media training.