There is nothing more exciting–or better for your business–than media coverage. Landing a feature story in print, or being quoted as an expert source in an online article can exponentially boost your footprint in your market and set you apart from your competitors.
As a member of the media, I am always looking for good stories to write about. But most companies forget this side of marketing. Or they don’t know how to achieve it. Especially if they are a smaller company.
So far this year I’ve published more than 20 feature stories about local businesses and business people that appeared in newspapers and high-end glossy magazines. Not only did these people receive a beautiful story, they were able to use their media appearance in their marketing and social media programs to garner even more coverage and credibility. Some printed out copies of their articles and used it as a giveaway at appearances and trade shows. Others framed their article and mounted it prominently in their place of business. A few made podcasts or videos of their radio or TV appearance and posted it on their own media channels. Even more referred to their third-party coverage in sales presentations to help close the deal.
Best of all, feature stories generally don’t cost the company anything. Media coverage is free!
Benefits of Media Coverage
- It’s free
- It increases awareness of your products, services and mission
- It establishes you as an expert
- It builds credibility with a third-party endorsement
- It engages your audience; people read stories but skim over ads
- It demonstrates your product or service, and often its outcome of use
Why Do I Need an Online Media Kit?
Very few, if any, of the smaller businesses I profile have prepared an online media kit (also called a press kit or digital media kit) in advance. This means the business owners are scrambling at the last minute to locate pictures, take head shots, gather past media coverage, and create a backgrounder. And with the media often needing last-minute responses, this may keep you out of the running for a feature story. We may have to go with the best and quickest source to meet a publishing deadline. It’s best to be prepared.
Journalists often don’t want or accept attachments either. They prefer one link to your online media kit where they can find the background information and facts they need for their article all in one place.
Preparing an Online Media Kit for your Business
Much like your website, there are certain elements that make a media kit a success. They include:
- Company Profile
Create your “about” page to define your company background. Ensure that your profile includes facts, figures and dates. Tell the media what your company does and why it is important. Offer your mission and vision, if applicable.
Create a bio for each of the key players in your organization and post professional color headshots that the media can use in its story.
- News Coverage
List any previous media coverage, along with links to the article or interview. Post links to relevant press releases.
- Potential Story Angles
Offer the media a short list of story ideas and angles that would make an interesting article. Think beyond self-serving to how your expertise changes lives. Offer key questions. Tie in to current or seasonal events, or current problems that your product or service can solve.
- Product Photography
Offer a set of photographs showing your product or service in action. Include people in your shots, if possible. Create short videos demonstrating your product or service and include links to them.
- Brochure Links
Create a short list of your main products or services. Post a list of your available brochures with links to their PDF copies.
- Contact Information
List all of the important media contacts and outline their title and role. Include all contact information including office and mobile telephone numbers and email addresses, and location if different from your headquarters. List all contact information for your company including the physical and web addresses.
Let All the Buzz Write Your Online Media Kit
Hiring a professional writer–one who is also a member of the media–is the best way to ensure that your online media kit contains the information the media wants and needs. If you need assistance creating your online media kit, please contact us. (We’re also looking for good stories!)
Get the Facts
First, it provides us with the facts we need about a company’s products, services, customer service policies, history, background, target customer audience and goals.
Get the Tone
Second, it gives us the opportunity to “hear” the company owner. We listen not just for the facts but for how the owner represents the business. Does he or she speak using technical language? Are the sentences long or short? Is there humor? This helps us to write in “their voice,” not our own, and is especially helpful when writing a speech the interviewee will be delivering. Most of the time our client remarks, “It sounds just like me!”
Get the Customer
Listening also helps us to uncover problems the owner may be having in the business, or issues their customers might be having. These can and should be addressed when creating good copy. Continue reading →
When I was director of marketing for a national company, my office was situated right next to that of the president’s. One day, he walked by my door and saw me sitting in the visitor chair at the opposite side of the desk than my normal chair. I was just sitting.
The president stopped in the doorway and asked me, “What are you doing?”
I answered, “I’m looking at the company from the customer’s point of view.”
We are often so busy working at our own jobs that we can overlook the point of view our customer sees. Therefore, it is good to either take a moment to “sit in their chair,” or hire an outside eye (trained consultant) who can identify just what it is the customer sees…and needs.
As a hired marketing consultant, I have made the tiniest tweaks in someone’s presentation, look, office, retail space or marketing strategy that have made huge differences the next time they Continue reading →
I love this quote from Warren Buffett because it truly describes what sales and marketing is all about.
If your clients or customers are complaining about the price of the services or goods you are offering, they probably don’t understand the value of what they are buying. And this is where you need to beef up your marketing efforts.
We’ve all heard how we must feature the benefits of an item, not its features when selling. This concept takes that credo to a new level. People will pay — and pay handsomely — for something they value.
Within the past few months I had the opportunity to work with a start-up company in creating its brand and new website. We went round and round with the pricing for copywriting on their new site. If it weren’t for the fact that I was referred to them by someone they respected, I’m not sure they would have hired a copywriter at all. They simply didn’t see the value in good writing or the need to pay for it. But in the end, Continue reading →
If your website receives text input (like eCommerce) but does not have an SSL certificate, come October 2017 Google Chrome will begin “punishing” sites by posting a red “Not Secure” warning visible to anyone seeking out your website.
This means that your website address must read “https” at the beginning of its address, rather than “http”. When secure, the “s”, along with a lock icon will appear in the header bar in your web address.
Sensitive text input such as passwords and credit card information are vulnerable on unencrypted sites, and the “Not Secure” warning is a Continue reading →
They say that those who are passionate about what they do never feel as if they are working. Their passion is what drives them, and what makes them successful.
Wonder if you’re still passionate about your business? Take this quick quiz to find out: Continue reading →
Washington Post Reports Writing Skills Rising on the List of Job Requirements But Failing in Candidates
Selingo continues to reports hearing an interviewer from government contracting firm, looking to hire proposal writers for federal agencies, complain about “how difficult it is to find good writers these days.” Continue reading →
Not 20 years ago, it was easy to get noticed with your own website. But now that there are more than 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web, it is increasingly difficult to grab your audience’s attention and get them to click on your site. Continue reading →