I was speaking to a group of business owners recently and a few told me they already get calls from the media. They’re regularly asked to comment on emerging issues in their industries. But the media coverage was leaving them hungry; they didn’t feel they were getting anything out of it.
Another business owner in the group was about to be filmed for a leading TV show – the kind of show that brings lots of new leads to a business. What should he do to ensure the TV spot leaves an even stronger impression on the audience?
Sometimes I see media coverage for a business book and it leaves me thinking, “That’s a shame. They could have done more to position the business.”
A new client had recently been interviewed for a fantastic article that he pitched himself, but the focus of the story was the case study, not him. He was feeling a bit ‘ripped off’ by the article. “It was meant to be about my book,” he said.
The advice I gave was this: Use every moment in the media as an opportunity to leave a legacy for your business and your reputation. Think about how to position yourself in the media so you’re not simply responding to someone else’s agenda.
Rather than simply telling a journalist about the trends you’ve observed in the industry lately, try telling them about how your business is positioned around those trends as well. This will leave you feeling a lot more satisfied following your coverage.
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What about the man who was called by the leading TV show? He needs to take a moment between celebratory cartwheels to think – how does my business look in this story? How do I look? What could I add here that would tell them more about where my business is going and why? If this story was to provide a legacy for my business, what else would I say? What else could I tell the journalist? If someone watched this story in a year’s time, what could they take from it about me?
I advised him to think about his reputation and the future of his business. Don’t give your opinion in an interview without first considering how your comments will reflect on your business and its goals.
One businesswoman I know is often called by the media about fees in her industry. I suggested she do some positioning for her business so that she not only comments on fees, but also mentions other points she’s observed or studied. Can she tell media the trend last year, the trend now and her forecast for 2013?
Find interesting points that show you know your stuff above and beyond what the media want to talk to you about. Take a moment to let them know a few things by email or phone in advance of the interview; the kinds of things that position your business better.
And, yes, be excited about media coverage. And also be excited about the possibilities for positioning your business in that coverage.
For tips on how to turn media coverage into sales, click here.
Have you been interviewed by the media? How did you make sure you got the most out of this media coverage?