In years past the term "media" commonly referred only to Newspapers, radio and Television. In today's hyper-information world, the term has come to include any entity that distributes a message whether a feature news story or announcement, advertisement, graphic, video or audio broadcast or file.
Unlike the limited media options of the past, today's media comes in dozens of different and often specialized formats such as Weblogs (Blogs), Electronic Magazines (Ezines), Video Logs (Vlogs) such as YouTube, Websites such as ForConstructionPros.com, RSS feeds, e-mail based distribution platforms and literally tens of thousands of business journals, both online and off, trade publications, corporate print newsletters, subscription based newsletters, national, regional, trade and specialty magazines, most of which have an online version, webcasts (TV like internet broadcasts) satellite radio, internet radio and podcasts.
And to further muddy the media landscape, the technology of HD (High Definition) radio now allows traditional, or terrestrial (Non satellite) radio stations to split one signal into two separate ones and broadcast different content on each one simultaneously.
Although the opportunities for winning enormously valuable publicity increases every day as the industry expands, determining who to approach, when and most importantly with what kind of information, can be maddening. Couple this confusion with the limited time most business owners have to spare and creating and managing a publicity campaign can become a daunting if not mind numbing and unpleasant task.
Although the new media does present more opportunities than ever before, many of these new outlets are not appropriate nor would they be effective in promoting a local or regional business since they have more global focus. In other words it does not benefit a contractor in Des Moines to be featured in a news story with national circulation beyond the scope of the local audience.
Where it might seem this media expansion presents no greater local opportunities than before the opposite is true. Much of this new growth is from the expansion of internet-based publications. This expansion has caused traditional media such as newspapers and Television stations to develop their own web based publications and portals. For example until recently the online version of a local newspaper was just an electronic reproduction of the print publication. Today the online version is stand alone, complete with its own content needs. And unlike the 24 hour news cycle of old, online news updates in real time, sometimes several times per hour depending on the outlet.
The exponential growth has also forced regional media outlets to increase their local focus in an attempt to hold market share. This massive increase in content requirements for web sites coupled with the increased desire to report more local news presents amazing opportunities for small business owners looking to win the war of awareness in a sluggish economy.
What's the point to all this?
Your local news media wants to hear from you and are more receptive than ever to your announcements and short news mentions. And there is no better way to win the minds of prospects then by letting them peer inside your business and get to know as much as your firm as possible.
So get those e-mails and faxes running and make sure you contact the media whenever any one of the following seventy-six events happens:
- Alliance with another organization
- Annual Report
- Appearances at major events
- Articles written about you
- Articles written by you
- Articles you were quoted in
- Awards you're bestowing (On Public Figure)
- Awards your firm is bestowing on employees
- Awards you're personally receiving
- Benefits program initiated (ex Employee Health Wellness)
- Blog Launches
- Board or Committee Appointments you granted
- Board or Committee Appointments bestowed upon you
- Books you have authored
- Books you have been quoted in
- Celebrity Endorsement
- Civic Programs your firm is sponsoring
- Civic programs your firm is participating in
- Classes your firm is sponsoring
- Company anniversary
- Company milestones (ex 100th employee/100,000th customer)
- Contests you're sponsoring
- Charitable contributions made by your firm
- Charitable events (ex Golf Tournaments)
- Death of corporate figure
- Expanded facilities
- Expanded or reduce hours
- Expansion Plans
- Free Offers and Demonstrations
- Grand Openings
- Guest speaker you're hosting
- Holiday events
- Industry groups you are joining
- Major industry changes
- Land purchases
- Lawsuits filed
- Management Change
- Major purchase
- New market development
- Name change
- New employees
- New Franchise addition
- New major client
- New product rollouts
- Newsletters you are starting
- New Address
- Open House
- Photographs (Employees/Family/Building Improvements etc.)
- Planned Public Relations Campaigns
- TV/Radio Interviews
- Product Improvements
- Product eliminations
- Podcast Launch
- Sports Team Sponsorship (Little League)
- Stock Offering
- Stock loss/write off explanation
- Stock Split
- Publication launch
- Relocation (Facility)
- Sales Promotions
- Sales Projections
- Sales Accomplishments achieved
- Scholarships you're bestowing
- URL Change
- Webinar Launch
- Web site Launch
- Web Site revamp
You may also wish to include a picture (.jpg file format) if you e-mail your news item. Make sure you include your contact information. Often small news blurbs and mentions will stimulate a larger feature story. Also remember to insert a mention to the reporter or producer than you are available as an expert source or for comments on stories related to the industry you're in and the products and services offered by your firm.
Michael Hart is a speaker, author, talk radio host and shameless publicity hound. His marketing and publicity strategies have been featured in numerous magazines including: Selling, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Sales and Marketing Executive Report and many others. He is the co-host of the popular weekly home improvement radio program HOUSE STUDS www.HouseStuds.com He can be reached at 866 238 5294 or michael@MichaelHartSpeaks.com