One of the most credible ways to build your personal brand is through gaining publicity coverage in the mainstream media. As mentioned in my blog last week, word of mouth is very powerful when it comes to promoting you. If a client or prospect sees a story about you on the television or in a newspaper or magazine or hears an interview on radio, it creates awareness and perhaps new business leads. Even though the mainstream media landscape has changed, it is still a major influential medium that can help reinforce your personal brand and message.
You may believe being super active on social media is enough. And it is very powerful building a profile through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and You Tube. It is a vital part of personal brand building and can be very rewarding. Combine that with mainstream media like press, radio and television and you can boost your brand exponentially.
However simply writing and issuing a media release to a selected group of journalists and editors is not enough. You do need to follow up.
Many people find that the most challenging part of business building is picking up the phone and actually talking to prospects and even clients. Personal brand building particularly when trying to gain media coverage is similar as you are often approaching someone you don’t know to write story about you. That self-promotion can feel quite uncomfortable.
One aspect that can help is realising that they need your story just as much as you need them. Journalists and editors need to find information and stories to fill their magazines, news reports, radio talk back programs and online content. So think of it as doing them a favour. If you don’t follow up, you will more likely be ignored and nothing at all will come if it.
Here are a few tips to follow up journalists with your story idea.
1. Call to see if they received the release on xxx sent on xxx and if there is anything further you may need
2. If they say they did not receive it, check the right email and send again
3. Again they say they did not receive it, they may want you to say what it is about – have a brief sentence/main points of media release ready to discuss
4. If they did receive it, see if they might like a photo or ask if you can provide any further information
5. Try and get talking so you’re on the way to building rapport but don’t get too pushy
If you get talking find ways to perhaps get further information such as:
6. What kinds of story angles are you looking for? Or better still read and observe their angles in the newspapers.
7. How to you prefer to receive information? (e-mail, phone)
8. What kind of data do you find helpful? (surveys, stats, case studies)
9. When do you like to be contacted? (early morning, late afternoon)
10. How can I be of help to you in developing a story?
Learn more about media liaison by downloading a copy of the eBook, The Power of Personal Public Relations.
Read last week’s blog Impress Through the Power of the Press