This is the Part One in our three-part series covering the importance of media coverage for you and your business.
Have you or your business ever featured in a news story? What about your competitors? Is there barely a day that goes by in which you read a magazine and they’re not being talked about?
Positive media coverage is a powerful way of letting people know about your business and making them think and feel about it in a certain way.
Media relations is not about selling your products or services – that falls into the domain of sales and marketing. Sometimes it is about reducing the negative coverage you receive during a crisis, or achieving credibility in different markets to assist you in securing sponsorship or deals with bigger businesses.
However, for most small-to-medium sized businesses, media relations is usually about identifying the media outlets or ‘watering holes’ where your ideal customers gather and being featured in those outlets. Being represented in the publications or programs that your customers read, watch or listen to, indicates that you are helpful, knowledgeable and accessible.
So, while being on the front page of the Australian Financial Review might seem like a dream come true, it would be pointless if none of your ideal customers turned to this publication for information or if it wasn’t a ‘watering hole’ where they congregated.
On the other hand, if your ideal client is in the food or hospitality industry, Food Service Australia magazine would be an optimal outlet to be featured in. Not only would coverage in this magazine create awareness of your brand, but it would also convey aspects of your business that you can’t always convey through other marketing tools, for example:
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- 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 industry-specific jargon into plain English).
Think of it this way: if your business is mentioned in a respected media outlet that your ideal clients read, watch or listen to, it is going to have a much greater impact on your reputation than an advertisement would. This is because it is far more interesting and credible when someone else says good things about your business than when it comes from you.
When customers see your coverage, they think: “This respected media outlet, which understands my interests, has independently sought this business owner out for their advice, expertise or opinion. They could have chosen someone else in the field but they chose them!”
In Part Two we’ll look at how to go about getting positive media coverage and building a reputation for being a leader in your field.
What has your experience been with media coverage for you or your business?
Have you ever been approached by a media representative? In my experience, nine times out of ten it’s small business owners who do the approaching!