Recently, I watched a video on LinkedIn by Jason Feifer, Editor-in-Chief at Entrepreneur Magazine on how to get press for your business. He said you should “approach a journalist the same way you’d approach a customer, investor, or potential partner. You have to understand what they are looking for first, so you can deliver it.”
He goes on to share some points on how to do this effectively to gain that coveted press for your business and I wanted to reiterate some of what he shared and add my own in the Caribbean and now virtual context.
With the proliferation of new content creators in the region, there are more spaces for you to gain attention. Our eyes are still glued to our devices and now while we wish it were not the case, we expect to attend more webinars, summits, festivals and get our official news from the comfort of our homes.
The expectation remains that our local or regional media houses are going to provide us with valuable information and your chances of having your story appear in a regional platform have increased as everyone is searching for content while social distancing. Added to that, the eyes of the Diaspora remain on the region and with much longing. They want to get on a plane and come home. This means, that your potential audience does not have to reside on your island or on the next.
Here are some recommendations for increasing press coverage for your business.
Be clear on the story you are telling. This will help to decide who to approach with your story. Traditional newspapers and TV channels continue to be well respected. However, consider whether a trending YouTube show, Facebook Live or podcast may be a better fit for that initial appearance.
Identify your Preferred Communication Style. Would you be more comfortable speaking with the camera off or on?
Research the media house or the platform. How large is their audience? Do they serve your target demographic? What traction do they get on their videos? You want to have not only high view numbers but lots of comments. Facebook count views if they make it to the first three seconds, even if they log off a second later, you want to be on a virtual show where it is clear the audience sticks around to comment and share the event.
Prepare your story. Feifer suggests writing the entire story out so you can send it to the reporter and in this case show host. Why would this be appealing to the host and their audience? How will it change their life or entertain them? Get a catchy headline. How I Made $50,000 after losing my job during COVID-19. Creating a Backyard Staycation for Your Family. Add quotes where possible from someone who can validate the information you are giving.
Send off your story addressed to the journalist or show host/producer. The region has less layers and it is often the case that the host is producing the broadcast as well. Put the text of your story in the body of the email. Make sure your bio and a high resolution photo are included and let them know you are available for radio or TV interviews. Add your telephone number and social media so they can reach out to you. Your social media, and or website should serve as proof that you know what you are talking about. Clean it up if you must.
Follow up in a day or two to confirm they received your story idea and whether they would like more information.
Send to multiple media houses. Caribbean people are everywhere and we live on each others islands too. Don’t only reach out to your local radio or web hosts. Find others on a neighboring island in North America, Europe, and even Africa who have similar demographics.
Prepare for Your Interview – If you are doing a video interview, check the quality of your laptop vs your camera phone. Get a pair of headphones and test them. Find a space where the sound is manageable. (It’s ok we can live with the sound of chickens and crickets.) Your space should be well lit. The light should be on your face not behind you. Don’t sit with your back to an open window, we will only see your silhouette on camera.
Go over your notes. What are the main points you want to express about your service or experience that the viewer can use right away? If the only benefit they gain is if they buy from you then it is no benefit at all. Give them something they can use just from listening to your talk.
Say Thank you. After your interview please follow up with the host or journalist to express your appreciation for their time.
Promote. Promote. Promote. Your work is only now beginning. Share the video link, podcast or news article with your audience. Post links to the media platforms website which will give them traction as well. Share snippets on your social media.
I am more determined than ever to spread good news and tell you that you can transform your life and that of the people you love with entrepreneurship and purpose. At nerissagolden.com you will find How-To posts and books to inspire your growth. If you want to turn your blogging into a book, I am ready to coach you.
I believe it is time to #tellyourstory. I help my clients from the private and public sector to leverage traditional and digital media to increase their visibility and make more money. I am a mentor, business strategist, a certified Business Continuity Specialist and the author of seven books, including In Plain Sight and the Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn for more great tips and ideas to help you grow.