In order to run a successful business, a CEO needs to have a good amount of pride. You certainly can’t launch a new company without a strong belief in your own abilities and you can’t offer a worthwhile service or product without pride in your work. But too much pride can also hinder success when it comes to building connections with media outlets.
Too often, brands try to directly pitch their products and services to media outlets that, 9 times out of 10, don’t have the time to come up with a compelling angle to write about said products or services; subsequently those pitches are discarded. Rather than pitching your business directly to media, you should be pitching your commentary on breaking topics and stories related to your industry, and using your successful business as a backdrop or compelling reason as to why you should be quoted on such stories.
The truth is highly authoritative bloggers, producers and journalists all need to generate high quality content, and they’re almost always on a deadline. So the need is there, along with the opportunity. However, they need to show value to their audience and offering them a direct sales pitch is probably only going to get you connected to their sales department to discuss the purchase of advertising space.
In order to be brought in as an expert, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and speak to different topics, and it is up to you to make the connection obvious to the media between what your expertise is and how it relates to the topic you’re pitching. If you run a fashion website, you may want to talk about why a certain type of swimsuit is the talk of the town this summer. If you run a tech company, you may want to weigh in on the latest Facebook update. The key is to be flexible and willing to put yourself out there. Scanning the latest headlines or skimming through Twitter for breaking stories provides opportunities to capitalize on trending stories. The next step is having the creativity to put together a winning pitch that is sure to lead to a story.
Over time, people consuming your sponsored blogs, radio appearances, news articles or other pieces of media will begin to remember that your brand is sought out to talk about the latest trends in your industry. This adds a layer of credibility that is priceless for any business. You’ve quickly gained sales fodder and you can reference these appearances to show your credibility and the respect you have in your industry.
Boosting your brand’s awareness through media relations is all about momentum. The more connections you build, the more attractive you become to other outlets. It’s invaluable to have a portfolio of media appearances that you can reference when pitching to a larger media conglomerate. Once you’ve built a large enough network, media relations becomes as simple as answering the calls of journalists who have entrusted you as a source in the past.
It’s easy to think that journalists should want to write a profile about your business. After all, it is an awesome business, but journalists don’t know that yet. Show the value you have as a reliable source and the dividends of promotion will slowly but surely pay off in dollar signs.