Media is too often overlooked in marketing strategies, yet it is an easy, effective and cost efficient way to quickly raise your profile and credibility in the marketplace.
You don't need to have a background in journalism or PR to dip your toe in this type of marketing- you just need to have confidence in yourself.
I see people consistently losing any traction when trying to pitch to the media, because they are trying to sell their product NOT their story. Be prepared to be directed to paying for ads, rather than free news spreads if you call up or email telling them only about what you sell!
I've repurposed a media release of my journey from high school teacher to childbirth educator many times- it's even run on a front page. Yes, FRONT PAGE! I didn't get caught up in my services nor tried to make them the feature of the article, I told my story, my journey. I personalised it. People are inquisitive in nature and like to read about where people have come from, what they have done, are planning to do and why.
What you do with your published pieces is what helps you build your profile and expertise in your area. First of all, don't be shy!!! Share it across all social media platforms with a little blurb about the article- instagram, facebook, LinkedIn, twitter. Then, pop it on your website- either as a link or a screen shot of the paper.
You can also have your clients tell their story and offer to comment as the "expert", as a journalist will often seek other quotes.
Your media strategy should be just as important as every other part of your marketing strategy. News has credibility, and your profile will increase exponentially by regular media appearances.
A few people who come to mind in the advocacy space who have no "qualifications" nor media training are Bruce and Denise Morcombe, and Rosie Batty. In both instances, their tragic stories, and willingness to engage with the media have now made them the experts in their field. Media will regularly ask Rosie Batty for comments about domestic and family violence, and likewise with the Morcombes with child abuse. I have used these as examples as they are often who I look to for inspiration when I am lobbying in the maternity space.
My top tips for media:
- have a look at a calendar of events ie. Is there Mother's Day, an Awareness Week etc. that you can comment on.
- what is YOUR story? How did you get to where you are?
- try to find journalists direct email or phone so not to get lost in the news@ overflowing inbox!!
- have a good network to draw upon, so if the journalist calls and asks you if you know of a mum who owns a pug dog and has 3 kids you might be able to help. It works both ways- as you'll find the more you can help out and build the relationship, the more you'll be in the media yourself.
- even a single comment is worth promoting. Whether it is yourself commenting or your clients- SHARE IT- regardless of whether your business is being mentioned.
- share the shit out of your media success. It is key to building your profile
- be persistent. Journalists are busy people. A "no" might be because it is a busy news week rather than because your story isn't newsworthy!
If you want some help with media, writing a media release, pitching to the media or how to help build your awareness, get in touch. You can google my name "Alecia Staines" to find out how much I've utilized the media in the last 4 years to build my profile, brand and lobby for change in the maternity space in addition to my childbirth education business.
Contact; firstname.lastname@example.org For a consultation, media strategy and personalised media release it is $600. If you want me to pitch and work alongside your business for a period of time, I can tailor design a package to suit your business, brand and budget.