Media Exposure Increases Business

by Candace BelAir

Imagine tuning into your favorite local television talk show. The host is introducing an up-and-coming business entrepreneur. This is someone who is filled with energy and zeal, especially when it comes to his or her work. That someone could be you.

Talk show hosts, news producers, newspaper reporters and magazine writers are always looking for stories about small businesses. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are featured daily in newspapers and interviewed on radio or television shows. So then, why not a story about you?

Making it happen is probably easier than you think. All you need is an angle – something that grabs the reporter’s interest.

What qualifies as an angle? Here are a few examples:

The “You Are Unique” angle
When you describe your business, do people tend to say, “I’ve never heard of that, tell me more?” Are you the only one, or one of only a few people doing your kind of work? Reporters get very excited about businesses that are unusual.

The “Go With The Trend” angle
Does your business fit in with a larger trend sweeping the country? The greed and consumerism that characterized the 1980′s are out. Living more simply is in. One of my clients, a fashion consultant, is tying her business to this trend: She finds clothes for her clients at consignment stores and thrift shops. She’s been featured in newspaper articles and interviewed on TV shows as a result.

The “Go Against The Trend” angle
So your business doesn’t go with the trend? How about against the trend? One of my clients who is a record store owner stocks only vinyl records. No CD’s or tapes, just plastic. He found his niche was records. That is his angle. He’s been featured in numerous newspaper stories and radio and TV programs precisely because his business goes against the trend.

The “Tying Into a Season or Holiday” angle
Every Valentine’s Day we can count on seeing stories about flowers, chocolates, and lingerie. Every tax season we know we’ll hear CPA’s giving tax tips on the radio. Does your business tie in with a holiday or season? Reporters will be writing about these events anyway. Why not a story about you?

Write an Article
Newsrooms, like many other workplaces these days, have fewer bodies to get the job done. Consequently, many publications welcome articles from “guest contributors.” If you have a flair for writing, offer an article to a publication that’s read by your customers or potential customers. Titles that begin with “How to…” or “What to Do If…” are popular with editors.

Be a Resource
Still another way to get a reporter’s attention is to write a letter of introduction, offering to assist the reporter if he or she ever writes a story about your industry. This is a way to connect with a reporter without being pushy. Rather, you’re offering to help out with background information if it’s needed. The reporter may not call you immediately, but will file your business card away for future reference. Don’t be surprised if you get a call months later, when the reporter is ready to do the story and wants to interview you.

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