Secret #1: Thoughts from the Dressing Room
Become “media ready” by looking, feeling, thinking and acting like a desirable multi-million-dollar brand — even on a shoestring budget.
Action Items: You are your brand, wherever you go. Do you give off an energy of certainty and impression of increase so people will want to know you? Make someone’s life better in some small way, every day. Live life fully. Step into your greatness and your brand.
Secret #2: Get Your Brand On
Cultivate and position a winning brand image that includes bio, photos, signatures, media kits and more.
Look professional, branded, together and ready for business. The press will feel more confident that you’re a player. You are your brand, so act like one that’s in a successful business.
Action Items: Look at your photo – does it look like you now or your high school picture? Can a prospect recognize you in a crowded room? Do you have a signature on your email? Does it give a description of who you are and what you do? Do you have a bio that includes some fun facts, or a cause you really believe in? Look at your website with fresh eyes. Is there a headline on your home page with a call to action? Are all the links working? Are there misspellings? What does your branding say about you as an expert? What does it say to the media?
Secret #3: Learn the Lessons Momma Never Taught You About Being Social
Leverage the power of social media to reach and impress media partners.
The thought of social media can be daunting if you don’t understand it. You don’t have to be everywhere, and do everything. Which social media tools do you like? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram (or the platform of your choice) pick what you’ll use and start engaging with your audience. Stop worrying about being perfect. Make an effort every day to promote your business. You can make an impact with 15 minutes, twice a day.
Action Items: Every day in some small way take an active role in being an expert, or noted in your field. Need content? Set up a Google alert on your ‘topic’ or ‘expertise’ and collect articles to share. Comment on what’s going on in the news. It’s OK to be a contrarian and have a voice.
Use social media to share your expert opinion so the press, as well as your prospects and clients, can notice you. Share content. Compliment others. Be a part of a caring community. Consistency and frequency count.
Secret #4: Get On the Inside Track
Take advantage of free publicity opportunities from HARO – Help a Reporter Out www.HelpAReporterOut.com. Help A Reporter Out offers quality leads for people in all kinds of industries to get noticed in the media – radio, TV, blogs and articles. It’s published 3 times a day, and it’s easy and free to sign up and get emails in your inbox. Journalists, editors, reporters and producers will post their queries on HARO and you can respond to them and get recognized as an expert.
Take the initiative and put yourself out there.
Action Items: Sign up for a free Help A Reporter Out account and take the time to respond to their emails. Create a one-page template to answer press requests. Don’t be annoyed by the press inquiries, think of them as your assistant sending you opportunities to build your business and your brand.
Secret #5: Be a Media Magnet, First. Darling Next.
Tell your story often and clearly to gain media attention. Practice makes perfect.
Create and launch media releases that tell a powerful, memorable story that demands attention and generates results. Look at what you’re doing in your business. What’s press worthy? Are you speaking? Have a new product or service? Create a media release and send to industry publications, local media, and established contacts. It’s the who, what, when and why of what you’re doing – and can be as simple as a new office location, workshop, product or service, or being featured as a guest expert. Be clear and brief in all interviews and press opportunities and offer ‘soundbite’ quotes. Reporters have limited time – so make sure you grab their attention.
Make it easy for the press to find you and keep your PR engine going. When journalists and bloggers begin to see you showing up in the news, they’ll be more apt to follow you.
Action Items: Make a list of 5 things that you or your company could write a media release about. Have video footage? Even better! You don’t have to win the Nobel Peace Prize to be recognized.
Secret # 6: Pitch Don’t Bitch
Stop complaining about the lack of press and do something about it.
Pitch your story idea to newspapers, radio and TV stations, industry magazines, niche newsletters and blogs. They’re always in need of material. It can be an idea you have tied to a holiday or special event, tips on how a new product or service is helping customers, a community service project you’re involved with or a local event.
When pitching the media, be brief, concise and to the point. Make your headline interesting. You never know who’ll pick up your story and where it may go. Even if it’s controversial, it’s still news! And news fades fast, so keep the momentum going. Be mindfully persistent, not a pest.
Action Items: Create a bucket of ideas to pitch. Make them short and sweet. Are you a newly published author? (Hint, an e-book counts). Are you a guest panelist at a prestigious event? Do you have a new way of doing XYZ that will make a difference to more than just you? Learn to pitch with perfection.
Secret #7: The Press Are Friends You Haven’t Met Yet
Relationships that matter take time. Identify key press contacts and build mutually rewarding relationships that last.
Make it a point to do your homework and keep your eyes and ears open to top reporters in your region or area of expertise. Press contacts move around a bit, so try to stay connected via social media and keep email addresses current. A savvy admin can help with this task, but ultimately, you’ll be the one to decide who you’d like to watch and follow.
Action Items: A stranger is a stranger till the first hello. Make friends with reporters you find interesting. Follow them on Twitter, and learn the fine art of retweeting. Introduce yourself at industry functions. Send a note that you liked their article and you’re a fan, even if you disagreed with their view point. Send a lead their way. Start the process of ‘getting yourself known’.
Getting noticed by the press is a journey not a destination, and every step and mention gets your name out there. You’ll get recognized as an expert if you promote your brand often enough, everywhere you’ll go. It all starts with a decision to confidently stand out from the crowd.