Did you know that free online media sources can boost your expert status?
Entrepreneurs are always looking for publicity because they know that will boost their credibility. It does so primarily by keeping you on the public’s radar in a way that tells the public you are successful because you know what you are doing. But how do you get publicity? It’s simple:
You can hire a professional public relations specialist who knows how to access free online publicity opportunities. Or, if you have the time to follow-through, you yourself can learn how to take advantage of these great opportunities.
Many journalists and bloggers employ certain cyberspace sites to find experts for stories. These sites provide a directory of experts for members of the media to make contact with. They also provide a directory of journalists and bloggers who request to speak to experts on a variety of subjects.
Because media is all about timing – NOW – as opposed to later, most members of the media and their shrinking news rooms operate on tight schedules. They often don’t have time to just chat with entrepreneurs who want news coverage in the hopes that maybe a story will evolve out of the conversation. If you want a reporter, talk show host or blogger to cover you as news, then you’ve got to give him or her something newswothy.
Pay attention to what these media people ask for when they request to speak to an expert. If they say they are looking for book authors and you are a book author, great. If they indicate they don’t want to speak to book authors and would rather speak to book sellers, note that, too. It’s always a good idea to follow the instructions and not try to accomplish something that is not a response to what the media is requesting.
This bears repeating: Make sure your pitch is relevant to the request.
If a blogger is looking for an African American female between the ages of 25-35 for a story he or she is writing and you don’t fit the criteria don’t respond. If you do respond, you will be letting the media person know that you are not willing to cooperate as requested.In some instances you will actually be barred from having access again to the directory site.
And, if they indicate they want a press release then send that. If they want a fax or an email, then do just that. Bottom line is this: Journalists don’t have time to sort through unrelated pitches and they don’t appreciate someone misusing access to them. Just keep your eyes open and check the sites regularly. Eventually you will come across a request that will be perfect for you.
Should a member of the media want to contact you for further information or instructions, make sure you are available. Provide current information and remember no one benefits by visiting a website that is still under construction.
One final bit of advice: don’t send blatant sales pitches. Most media are looking for stories. Sales pitches will be viewed as spam.
It is possible for both you and your pr professional to get free publicity online. You just need to be relevant and respectful of the journalist’s and bloggers’s time. If you are then you stand a good chance of being an entrepreneur the media will want to talk to.
Karen Pierce Gonzalez of Karen Pierce Gonzalez Public Relations has more than twenty five years of media/public relations experience and three decades of experience as a professional journalist and writer/writing facilitator with several literary awards to her credit. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.karenpiercegonzalez.com or call 707-792-4376.