Start the Press – Leveraging Media to build your brand

Media is a powerful tool for establishing credibility and visibility in front of a mass audience. The days of press releases and taking a producer for lunch are over. Things have changed drastically in the media since I left it to create SmartFem Media. Most of the magazines and TV stations have gone out of business or have merged. Many have had massive layoffs with more to come.

At the photo studio a model is posing for a photograph

While that is bad news for many, it is good news for those who know how to create content for overworked TV producers needing to fill a time slot or an editor for a magazine looking for fill content.

Appearing as the go-to expert in media allows you to get massive exposure from their audience initially, but it also allows you to leverage for your website and social media. Providing amazing content a few times for a reporter or a producer can position you as their go-to regular expert.

Some things to consider before you proceed. Who is their audience and is it a fit for your product or service? Tailor your appearance to appeal to their audience. Provide great expertise and keep your talking points to a minimum. Three points in a two to five-minute segment is best.

Another thing you will want to do before your show or article is to jump on any of their social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Groups and Instagram. They will often post a clip or ask their viewing audience to jump into their social media platforms. 

This is a way that you can build and leverage their social media to build yours. It is also a great way to accentuate your expertise in front of their captive audience. Engaging their audience is a quick way to build a relationship and bring them over to your platform.

Here are a few things…

  1. Know your topic

Be the expert and be ready with props, statistics, and facts to support your claims. Dress the part. If you are a high-powered attorney look like one. Be high energy and succinct in your talking points. Try not to use jargon and make a connection with your host. Remember this is not about you, it’s about providing value to the audience and being an asset to the show.

  1. Focus on Message

A solid message with great sound bites and easy to implement strategies will help you connect with the audience. Learn the art of sound bites. Sound bites are short quips that make the message pop and give it impact.

Often, big stories such as Identity Theft or new mortgage rates are an open door for an expert to come in and show viewers how they can protect themselves from credit card fraud and or whether a fixed rate or adjustable arm is a good idea for new home buyers. They are always looking to piggyback off of bigger stories.

  1. Create real value

Creating content for a television station or a magazine can be a very effective marketing tool if you use it properly. You and your company are being promoted to a media outlet with a massive following, so make sure that you carefully craft the talk and know what questions you will be asked ahead of time. 

Prepare for your day in the spotlight but don’t sound too rehearsed. Relaxed conversations are the most appealing.  Remember your goal is to appear as an expert and who will appeal to the audience.

  1. Follow up with your news outlets

Thanking your friends in the media is often overlooked. They are wearing many hats and often feel unappreciated these days. Create a relationship and ask them what some of their challenges are. Ask them if they are looking for any more stories and what they think their audience will like. The more you make them look good, the more they will love you. 

  1. Brand by association

If the media has asked you to be their go-to expert, leverage that. Own the fact that you are an expert and put that on your website, marketing materials, social media and any other kind of marketing materials.

Aligning your brand with bigger brands such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and Amazon Prime are huge for instilling trust and credibility. If you have been featured on networks or in Forbes or Huffington Post make sure you add those to your credentials.

  1. Start local

The best way to get started is to start in your local market. Start looking for the small local newspaper and or business journal. Once you have been in print a few times it will be easier to get into local television. Posting your article in your social media is a way for it to get seen.

While it’s true that media is a changing market, providing great relevant content will always keep you top of mind as an expert in your field.