Many business owners would love to score free media publicity – who would say no to TV appearances, radio interviews or magazine and newspaper features?
But when it comes down to it, a good portion of entrepreneurs also feel uncomfortable about the hype, intimidated or fearful of reaching out to the media, and concerned that selling yourself means somehow selling out.
If you feel intimidated by the media, here’s how you can get out of your own way, become a star in the media and still be true to yourself.
Step 1: Overcome your fears and self sabotaging doubts by recognising your fear. Start by making a list of things you’d like to achieve in PR such as appear on TV or be featured in your local newspaper. If an automatic thought crosses your mind giving you a reason why you can’t do it, then that is the result of some sort of fear. Once you recognise your fears, you can work towards defeating them by taking action in the direction of your goal.
Step 2: Don’t be afraid to reveal yourself through your story Stepping in to your own power and greatness comes with firstly accepting who you are as a person. The media is looking for you to make a connection with their audience. The quickest and easiest way to connect is to reveal your true self. Highlight the things that are unique about you and your business. Tell your story in a way that inspires others. This strategy taps into the notion that if you can do it then others can too.
Step 3: Find a newsworthy story angle: Think yourself about the stories you see in the media and how you can shape what you provide to fit into am existing news story. Think about trends. What’s in the news right now? Can you offer a comment on any of these issues and relate it back to your product?
Step 4: Write a winning press release that focuses on the “Three C’s”:
Catchy: Use a headline that is short and sums up the contents of the press release
Conversational: Get to the main point of the press release in the first line – don’t bury it three or four sentences down. Use language that a 12 year old can understand – the simpler, the better.
Concise: A media release should be short – aim for one page of text, and no more than 1.5 pages or it just won’t be read.
Step 5: Determine your target media outlets Make a list of the media outlets that your consumers read, watch or listen to and create a list of journalists who regularly write about your topic. These are the media outlets you need to be contacting with your press release.
Step 6: Make the pitch and follow up Email first with a personalised greeting, a sentence about your story angle and where it fits into the media outlet, and a call to action for the journalist. Copy and paste your press release into the body of the email and send it. Wait a day and follow up with a phone call that’s made at a convenient time for a journalist. Be available to provide more information as soon as it’s requested.
Step 7: Maintain contact. Once you’ve made a media contact, keep the flow of information and communication going by sending them regular press releases or product updates.
The Final Word: Being a star in the media does not mean pretending to be someone you’re not. To have real impact means being your true self and tapping into your infinite power. A compelling story has the ability to touch lives and create a lasting emotional attachment between the audience and your business.
Sue Papadoulis is a contributing author to Align, Expand and Succeed; Shifting the Paradigm of Entrepreneurial Success. This “just released” book is based on the premise that the world is changing at a very rapid pace. We are starting to see that cooperation brings better results than old style competition. It’s a new era and we need to work together to create success for everyone, not just for a few.
This book features dozens of conscious entrepreneurs who share their wisdom, expertise, stories, lessons and insights about the new and exciting shifts that are happening for entrepreneurs worldwide.
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