I fully appreciated this a few weeks ago, when the Daily Telegraph in Sydney called, asking me if I’d be interviewed and photographed for a story on personal branding. Of course I said, “YES!”
In chatting with the journalist I asked, “Where did you hear about me?” The answer was that she had done an online search and from my website it appeared that I was an expert in this area.
Well, you know what? It’s because I say I’m an expert in personal branding and I’ve got articles, bio, background information, quotes and other information to back up my claim.
You probably have too, about your area of expertise…but you’re not telling the media about it. It’s simple, all you need to do is create an online media room.
Most large corporations have an online media section and so should solo businesses. You can call it media room; press room or newsroom but there should be a section on your website where journalists go to find out information about you and your business.
Include a link to the media room from your home page so that it can be found easily. Journalists are like any potential customers or clients. They will do a search to find an expert in an area they need a comment on, or to interview or write a story about.
They may have heard your name or business name somewhere or come across it in a feature article while researching. Perhaps they are prompted to find out more about you from a media release that you sent to them.
So they’ll Google your name or even a topic to find the right person to make a comment. Journalists like to research and be armed with a lot of information before they will do interviews.
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What does an online media room look like?
Your media room needs to have several components. There needs to be a visual aspect of who you are and also written information.
The first thing that you need when a journalist opens your media page should be a short bio about you and your topics of expertise. Just a paragraph or two about the business and the person behind the business so they know to come for you for media commentary. Then list topics that you can comment on with perhaps a sentence about your experience in that area.
I had another instance when a journalist found me via my website and rang up to do an ABC TV news story on business etiquette. It is one of the subjects I talk about. I speak and present on media, PR, personal branding and helping people to stand out. One of those areas is corporate etiquette or business shine as I call it. Because I had that listed as an area of expertise on my website the ABC journalist asked me to be interviewed on camera about business etiquette. Great publicity!
Journalists love to get as much background information about you as possible.
- List areas of expertise that you can comment on. You can also include a quote that may have already been used in the media to prove that you are an expert in this area.
- You may also have an area for media releases that they can click on. Anytime you send out a release to the media, post it on your website.
- You should also have a link to any articles that have been written about you or that you have written yourself and have appeared in print.
- Also any reviews of products or services that have appeared in print.
- You can also include a link to any e-books or special reports you may have written. Even a simple fact sheet – just one page with bullet points about your business is a good idea – something that they can print out.
Now let’s look at other elements, including the visuals, that you should supply.
- Post jpg images of you that can be downloaded, small and large files, also your company logo.
- Rather than the stock standard headshot also include a creative photo as well. The more you can provide the better chances of having something appear in print.
- If you have any footage of you for video streaming or any audio recordings of any media interviews you have done, they can also be loaded into your media room.
As you can see, there’s a lot that can be included in your media room.
By taking a professional approach to your media strategy and providing as much information as possible you will maximise your chances of gaining publicity.