How media relations can benefit small business

Media relations is one of the better-known tools of Public Relations.

For some, media relations means reducing public panic in a crisis by providing the media with clear messages and updates that they can pass on to the public through their coverage of the crisis. There are even those that use media relations to minimise how much their business is in the media at all. For others, it means keeping the media in the loop on important news, updates or predictions.

For a small business, it usually means identifying the watering holes where many of your ideal customers meet, in this case a media outlet, and getting your business included in that media outlet in a positive way.

Basically, the goal of media coverage is to get people to think and feel about you and your business in a certain way.

Media coverage is not just about creating awareness of your brand, it is also about conveying aspects of your business that you cannot always convey through other marketing and public relations tools. These include:

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  • Credibility
  • Trust
  • Personality
  • Expertise
  • Passion
  • Confirmation of what you already market to your audience (for example, media coverage can confirm that you know what you are talking about, that you have an excellent track record or that you can translate technical jargon into English).

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Think about it: if your business is mentioned in a respected media outlet that is listened to or read by your ideal clients, it will have a much greater impact on your reputation than an advertisement would.

If you could read minds (please let me know if you can) you could catch the audience or readership thinking:

“Someone who understands my interests (a respected media outlet) independently sought this person out for their advice, expertise or opinion. They could have chosen someone else in the field but they chose them.”

In radio advertising, it is far more expensive to pay for a popular announcer or presenter such as Ray Hadley on 2GB to read an advertisement than it is to have it recorded by a voice-over artist. This is because it is far more credible and interesting to have someone else say good things about your business than to hear it coming from you. The result? Those advertisements generate far more enquiries than ordinary radio advertisements.

Next week I will show you how you can maximise the success of your media coverage.

In the meantime, I’d love to know: what have your experiences been with the media?
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