Understanding the Press and Media
No business can be successful without promoting its goods or services. This will mean using the media to get news of your business’s new products and services out to potential buyers. The media has developed over many years and now makes up a landscape that can be daunting for small business owners to negotiate successfully.
The key to good media relations is to understand how the media works and what they need from your business. If you can provide information in a format they can use, and be media friendly, the channels that are available to your enterprise will enable you to easily gain media coverage when your business needs it.
Media MessageBeing able to use the media to promote your businesses goods and services is an art, but an art that anyone can master. Once you understand how the various types of media operate, you can tailor your marketing messages to suit whatever channel you think is appropriate. The media today breakdown into distinct groups that include:
- Newspapers and Magazines:
You can locate information about newspapers on The Newspaper Society website [www.newspapersoc.org.uk]. Print media need strong news and features that they can publish on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Try and package your marketing materials so they are easy to handle by this type of media. Images should be in high resolution (at least 300dpi). Quotes from interested parties are always attractive.
- Broadcast Media
Broadcast media that include TV and radio have different criteria to the press channel. Broadcasters need video and sound bites to fill the airwaves. This should be of broadcast quality. If your business doesn’t have the expertise to produce these, hire a professional production company. The better the quality the more chance you have of your news story being aired.
- New Media
The Internet is awash with marketing messages. If you carefully target your business’s promotional material you’ll be able to make your message stand out from the crowd. Research the Internet closely before deciding which websites you want to target your marketing at. And don’t forget the burgeoning mobile phone market. Increasingly, this platform is being used for advertising.
Better Public RelationsAfter you have researched the media channel you want to use, you now have to package your message so that the channel can use it. Bear the points below in mind when you are creating marketing materials for the media:
- Know Your Media
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to the media. You must repackage your marketing materials for each of the different media channels that are available. If you do this your campaigns will be much more successful.
- Editorial Insider
The guardians of the messages that appear in print, online or across the hundreds of TV channels are the editors. It is they who decide which of the hundreds of marketing message they receive each week makes it into their publication, onto their radio channel, or broadcast on TV. Try and develop a good working relationship with these people. If you can differentiate yourself from the other businesses in your sector, you’ll have more chance of getting some media coverage.
It’s important to make it easy for the media channel you are contacting to use the marketing material you have available. Your website is the perfect platform for this. Place press releases, photograph, video and sound files on your site for easy access.
- Clear and Concise Messages
Try not to promote too much in one go. What the media is looking for is concise messages that their readers, listeners or views want. The more concise your marketing message is the better.
- Create some Buzz
If your business will be launching a new product in the near future, don’t wait until then to shout about it. The media is always looking to get the jump on each other with exclusives and scoops. If you can create some media buzz weeks or even months before your product or service launches, this will guarantee some media coverage.
- Media Mix
The media offers a diverse range of channels that you can exploit. Your press and media coverage should be as wide as you can make it. Even if your business’s goods or services are specialised and lend themselves to perhaps just one media channel, think about how you could modify your campaign to become attractive to other media channels. After all, more publicity always better.