How to Get the Media to Call You

Regular readers of this letter know that on any given day up to 70% of all the news in regional or national newspapers, on television, radio and online is released, pitched, or in some way influenced by someone outside the media.
Publicity is such a powerful compliment to traditional advertising that almost all major corporations staff entire departments with people whose only job is to get their company, product, service or executives in the news.
It’s that important!
But the majority of news and story ideas are released by individual business owners and entrepreneurs. And getting yourself in the press is getting easier and easier everyday due to the news media’s insatiable appetite for information.
Despite the demise of print media (mainly newspapers) the media is expanding at an incredible rate and its hunger for stories and ideas is ravenous.
And as the press expands, so does the need for sources and experts. People in the press, whether reporters, Best Business To Start In 2018 producers, on air hosts (like me), editors, writers etc. are overwhelmed by the 24/7/365 news cycle.
Moreover the explosion of news outlets has created huge competition for the ears and eyes of the news consuming public. This has forced news people to place greater and greater emphasis on producing compelling stories. And compelling stories require experts that can comment and be quoted. But the people that report the news cannot possibly take the time to find local, regional or national experts every time they need help with a story.
So they must keep a file of dependable, knowledgeable and trusted contacts they can fall back on. This list of experts is called a Green File. Every reporter, Business Partnership Agreement from your local community news paper reporter to one of the 65 producers of the Oprah Winfrey show has one. And you need to be in as many of them as possible.
These files, depending on the reporters/producers beat, can and do contain people that are experts on issues ranging from Islamic terrorism to how to sharpen a lawn mower blade.
I could write a book on Green Files alone (ooooh what a novel idea) so for the purpose of time I’ll discuss your local media. Regardless what you do for a living and whether you operate in your home town or around the world – your local media needs to know about you, what you do, your credentials, fields of expertise, contact information and availability. Once the local folks know of you, you can begin to build your own Green File of media contacts regionally and nationally if your business so requires.
Once you have compiled the above information, draft a simple letter and mail (yes I said mail) the letter to the reporters and producers that cover the kind of news you are qualified to speak on. IE If you’re a local Realtor local and court the “Money”, “Local”, and “Consumer” reporters and segment producers. The national desk editor will not respond to you.
Wait a couple of weeks and follow up with the same info in an email. Wait another week and call the reporter to confirm they received your information. From here on out every time you see or hear of a news story you’re qualified to comment on, contact the press. In a very short period of time you will be considered a trust and dependable resource and in no time at all, your phone will begin ringing with new opportunities to promote your business.
Last hint: Once you get a reporter’s attention, get the relationship going by staying in touch from time to time and send them story leads that DO NOT pertain to your business.

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