Be willing to work with the media. They may have a different concept about profiling your business than you do and go with it. They are not giving you a free advertisement – they have their audience in mind.
Networking is all about building relationships…and it’s no different when networking with the media. You are never trying to sell anything – you are simply getting to know the other person.
Networking with the Media
By getting to know your local media contacts in print, online, and on television and radio you can be top of mind when they’re looking for an expert source in your industry for their stories.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Develop a Relationship: Ask about their personal interests, family, hobbies, etc. and share your personal interests. Then let them know about your expertise in other areas so they can call you as a source for other articles.
Invite the Media: Send the media invitations and tickets to your events. If your budget can handle it invite them along to certain events as your guest or at a greatly reduced rate. Recognize that quality news media people are sensitive to being bought. Your invitation does not entitle you to cheery coverage if something goes sour.
Be Flexible: Be willing to work with the media. They may have a different concept about profiling your business than you do and go with it. They are not giving you a free advertisement – they have their audience in mind.
Tight Deadlines: Remember that reporters and editors are busy and are nearly always pressed for time. Appeal to their need to save time. Give them what they need in the form they need it. Anticipate their questions and have appropriate answers ready. Be available, easily reached, and completely prepared for comment.
Remember the Story: Journalists need a story, not a sales pitch, so determine the best way for your company to be part of a bigger story that affects your community or the nation.
Say Thanks: When a story is written about you or your business send a hand-written note of thanks to the reporter or freelance writer and the editor. This will go along way to help you stand out from the crowd.
Keep in Touch: When you read other articles they’ve written, keep in touch with a note offering feedback on the story. You may be able to offer a quick suggestion for another angle at the same time.
Remember to make it easy for the media to do their job. When asked on short notice to do an interview, do everything possible to meet their deadline…they’ll remember and call you when they need your expertise for the next story.
About the author
Susan started Vantage One Writing, a marketing company that has helped hundreds of businesses…