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!)
Working with clients, in many varied industries as we at All the Buzz do, it’s interesting how we come across the same questions over and over again. One I’ve heard most often is, “How do I work with the media? I have a story I think needs to be told.”
I must admit, even I had a fear of the media when I was an executive. Since I’ve been (and still am) a member of the media for over 30 years now, I want you to know that we’re just people. And anything you can do to make our jobs easier is always welcome.
Here’s how you can help us: Continue reading →