With newspapers, TV and radio stations, podcasts, blogs, social networks and numerous industry trade shows, there are many ways to land an interview, get press coverage and spotlight your expertise and company.
Why try to make news? It validates your expertise when your insights are delivered to a huge audience. You elevate your credibility while exposing your business to potential customers. Plus, when you get quoted alongside giant competitors, you look a lot bigger than you really are. Here are 10 tips for attracting business media attention.
1. Closely follow the news and offer your viewpoint. We've contacted many journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic to get clients quoted. For example, by emailing ideas to reporters, we placed an education-related story about a nonprofit helping parents navigate working from home and their students' virtual learning. Another client made financial news for their insights about companies stressed by the pandemic's fallout.
2. Send a tip (find the news tips number or email online) to a local reporter about how national news impacts your community or clients. "Localizing" a national angle helped my nonprofit client make news about pandemic-related mental health problems in their community.
3. Look for a teachable moment. We placed an essay in a major national business outlet after Elon Musk complained about problems delivering Teslas to customers. Our logistics company client wrote an essay explaining why it's taking so long.
4. Subscribe to a podcast and find the host's contact info online or on social media. The hosts are always looking for fresh perspectives and we've placed client-experts on podcasts about tech, real estate, innovation and more.
5. Reaching major national or network news reporters is challenging but worthwhile, since their stories often are picked up by hundreds of outlets. Look for reporters' emails in their Twitter profiles, monitor their coverage and send short bullet points about your idea. Keep trying, with new ideas, if you don't get an immediate reply.
6. Local radio is a powerful platform for specific demographics. Check a station's program schedule, call/email a host or show producer (find them on Twitter) and suggest a topic. Trends and seasonal topics are favorites. Contact the shows at least a few weeks ahead of time with your idea.
7. Get your company name in front of tens of thousands of trade show attendees. Attending or hosting a trade show workshop has become a proven lead generator for my clients. Six to nine months before an industry event, contact show organizers and suggest relevant topics. You'll be asked to submit an abstract describing your preferred topic. One client landed new business soon after the show's brochure was mailed to 100,000 attendees.
8. Win awards. From rising stars to the CEO, there are numerous professional honors to be won, if you know where and when to look. The Daily Herald Business Ledger hosts numerous awards opportunities. Imagine your name in headlines or a client's acceptance speech as a successful woman entrepreneur or executive. Check the publication's advertising section or editorial calendar for a listing of award opportunities. Take note of submission deadlines.
9. Have you written a case study or white paper to help customers make an informed purchasing decision? Shorten it and offer it as a guest blog contribution or byline article. A nonprofit client wrote a thought leadership essay that provided guidance to other nonprofit execs, based on topics we found in the magazine's editorial calendar.
10. Invite a reporter to a socially distant breakfast to discuss a hot topic or preview an important presentation you're making, such as a Ted talk. Beyond these 10 ideas, the number one guiding principle when contacting reporters is to be persistent. They may not respond immediately, and they're often grateful you followed up. Remember, by helping them do their jobs and providing great ideas, you'll stand out as an expert among your peers.
• Michelle Damico is CEO of Michelle Damico Communications and for 20-plus years has helped organizations make headlines to attract customers and grow sales. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.