The looming launch of the Fox Business News channel should be a boon for anyone who wants to get on financial television. CNBC will now have a major competitor, and Bloomberg TV may have to rethink its strategy in order to compete.
Most important, Fox’s entrance into the financial television space opens up a lot of time slots for potential guests. It will also increase competition among bookers, who will desperately try to get the best guests on screen on a regular basis. The situation presents a perfect opportunity for companies like mine, but plenty of other businesses as well.
Fox is going to trying to differentiate itself from CNBC, most likely by taking a more populist approach. This should open the door for smaller businesses to get some airtime, and I suspect the new channel will try to take a more positive approach to the business world (not so great for journalism, but great for PR).
The new channel is scheduled to launch in mid-October, and some key staffers will probably be coming over from Fox News Channel. If you have producer contacts there, start working them now if you want to get in the Fox Business News door early.
On Wednesday, I got a very interesting call from a PR firm – one that I’ve spoken to about potentially representing my company.
My contact at the firm called to tell me that a radio show needed a guest. I didn’t fit the bill, nor did anyone within my organization. The PR guy knew that, however. What he wanted to know was whether I could hook him up with a source since his clients who fit the profile were out of the country and unavailable. Within 15 minutes, we delivered one of our clients to the radio producer, via the PR firm, of course.
I didn’t think much of this exercise at the time, but after I thought about it later in the day, I love what went down.
The PR guy smartly used his Rolodex to help out a producer, someone he wants to keep in his good graces and impress. By reaching out to me, the PR guy was doing a little backside kissing, and in moderation, that’s fine. The PR guy also put me – again, a prospective client – in a position to make one of my own client’s happy. It was a win-win situation for everyone involved.
I like the out-of-the-box thinking employed by the PR guy here. He could have passed on the opportunity since his clients were not available, but instead, he made sure that he kept his own media contact happy. That’s the type of work that will keep you in business.
A few months ago, I mentioned using LinkedIn as a good resource for professional networking and scaring up PR opportunities. I’ve recently opened a Facebook account and, thus far, I’m finding it more useful than LinkedIn.
Facebook is much more of an actual social network than LinkedIn. It’s not business-oriented, but I started a group on it to promote my company and I’ve already garnered one sale out of it. My group – though just twenty-four people right now – is populated mostly by journalists. I invited many of them, and they probably just joined out of some mutual respect, but that’s fine by me. Anything I can do to keep my name in their head is worth the effort.
Because Facebook offers a much more personal experience than LinkedIn, I would certainly be careful about what kind of information, pictures and such you make available. My profile is playfully professional and geared towards providing my social friends with some fun information and my professional contacts with some insight into who I am. It’s not a bad way to humanize yourself in the eyes of journalists.
I should note that there are also a number of groups on Facebook geared towards PR people. Some even have interesting discussions unfolding. It’s worth checking out, especially if you’re thinking about finding a new job.
This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.