How aware are you of how the media works when it comes to your business? If you were to try and negotiate a story right now, how would that go? Would you pass with flying colors or are you a little more oblivious than you think?
If you don’t keep up with the changes in media relations, you may find yourself on the wrong end of a story. Companies make the mistake of thinking that their local newspaper or even CNN wants to hear all the latest news from them. However, that’s usually not the case, especially if you’re a small business.
So if you’re not media savvy, it’s time to get on the ball!
Think Like a Journalist
One of the quickest ways to understand how the media works is to become a journalist. You quickly figure out what’s important to you – namely, getting your pages or stories done so you go home in a timely manner. Choosing the best material out there is a great idea, but sometimes that doesn’t happen and you have to pick between two mediocre stories.
Now, you probably don’t have time to go back to school and become a journalist in order to understand the process. However, you can start thinking like a journalist so you know when to send in a story versus leaving it on your desk.
Is what you have to share really news? Is it relevant to the market you’re sending it to or are you just throwing it out there and seeing where it sticks? If so, you’re more than likely just wasting everyone’s time, including yours. Start thinking how you can get that poor journalist home at 2 AM instead of 6 AM and you may have a friend for life.
Timing is Everything
Timing isn’t just for comedy — it’s key for navigating the media seas. You may have the best story in the history of mankind, but if you try to send it out during a major political scandal, you might as well be screaming into the ocean. Knowing the environment you’re sending the story into can also help you pick your targets more successfully.
Let’s say you want to announce a brand new warehouse your company is opening. The district it’s in is a little run down but the hope is it will bring jobs to the area. At the same time, you notice there’s legislation to kick people out of their homes in that run down district to do some urban renewal. There’s a huge blowback because of this, costing several people their jobs.
If you had sent off the story during this scandal, you may have been caught up in it. Residents may have thought you were part of the effort to kick them out of their homes. By checking the environment first, you’re able to restructure the announcement to show how your company is helping the district and not just taking it over.
Being media savvy in this day and age isn’t so much a luxury as it is a necessity. To not pay attention to the trends and changes of the industry could cause major problems for your company down the line.
How media savvy would you say your business is?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html