You probably spend a lot of time talking about your business. But what do you if you have the opportunity to move beyond one-on-one conversations and address a larger audience through the media?
Jill Hammergren, consultant and owner of The Media Pro in Raleigh, says to remember you are the expert when it comes to your company.
“The media, or community or audiences that read or watch your interview don’t know everything about your business,” Hammergren said. “They may have an inkling about what you do but they don’t knows the ins and outs of it.”
Hammergren says the message that you share can be tailored to the purpose of the media report. Prepare your answers by looking at the reporter’s perspective of finding out the who, what, when, where, why and how.
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“You need to step back and figure out what the reporter’s goal is,” Hammergren said. “Maybe they are following up on something that has happened in the news nationally and they are looking for a local angle or a local expert to talk about how that could happen in our community.”
If you’d like to be a point of contact for the media, Hammergren suggests positioning yourself as an expert.
“I remind people if they are well-known in their industry and have expertise they should let people know that. Reporters don’t know everybody in every industry,” and they are often looking for new experts with new a perspective, she said.
Hammergren says that when you’re contacted by the media, begin thinking about what you can add to the coverage of a particular topic.
“I try to educate them on understanding that a good story has to have something like genuine human interest, timeliness and be novel or unique. There has to be some sort of reason people care about it.”
And she says don’t be tripped up by a case of nerves.
“You don’t have to know everything or spew out everything you know in one quick sentence,” Hammergren said.
Hammergren also says to seize any opportunity to speak with media representatives.
“Take every advantage of any kind of publicity or awareness that can be created about the business,” she said. “Business owners may not see those rewards until way down the road but it certainly is a tremendous opportunity.”
Reach Carla Turchetti at firstname.lastname@example.org.