You may be a speaker, a consultant, the owner of a small business,
a staff or board member of a non-profit association, or involved
in communications in a corporate or government setting. You know
that promotion and publicity are crucial to success, and you know
that getting media attention is one of the very best ways of getting
Media coverage is arguably the most valuable kind of publicity
there is - it is based on the news value of what you do or say,
and is therefore more inherently credible than advertising, which
is paid for. Plus the potential reach of the media coverage you
can earn far exceeds the reach of any advertising you can possibly
The problem is: how do you get the media to pay attention to you?
For many people, that is a problem they feel uncomfortable tackling.
If there is one key message that runs through the articles that
have appeared in The Sources HotLink through the years, it
is that media relations is human relations. Journalism - broadcast,
print, or online - is about telling stories, and compelling stories
are about people and their lives. If they are going to give their
viewers or readers interesting stories, journalists need people
to talk to, human contacts, people who can provide quotes and background,
people who can make the story interesting.
There are certainly techniques and strategies for dealing with
the media. But it's important not to get carried away by them. The
key thing is to be authentic, to be yourself, not to sound rehearsed
If you get a call from the media, they are in all likelihood going
to be calling you to ask you about a topic that you know about and
that you feel passionate about. In fact, the likelihood is that
you know a lot about the topic in question because you're passionate
about it. This is important: Figure out what moves you and what
you know about, and you'll be a long way along when it comes to
developing your media "strategy".
Your relationships with journalists can be important to your success.
All too often, however, we only think of these relationships as
something to call upon when we need them. However, like any living
thing, our relationships with journalists need to be maintained
over time in order to be fruitful.
Journalists turn to you for information if they know they can rely
on you for credible, accurate information, not self-serving advertorial.
By forwarding interesting news about research, developments and
ongoing trends in your field - not necessarily directly about yourself
or your organization - that you pick up at conferences, events or
from colleagues, you can nurture a mutually beneficial relationship
with journalists that will reward you hundred-fold.
Take the time to get to know the reporters you want to reach. Do
a search through their publications' archives, often available on
the Internet. Read articles they have written that relate to your
issues. Each reporter has a different interests and priorities.
By tailoring your approach to a reporter, you can greatly increase
your chances of getting coverage.
The basics always apply. All the relationship nurturing in the
world won't benefit you if you fail to return journalists' calls
within the day, don't provide clear, concise, relevant story information,
and don't have additional graphic, video and print materials.
With proper care, the relationships you and your organization develop
with journalists can last a lifetime - and benefit everyone.
Finally, a word about Sources, the publisher of The
Sources HotLink. Sources is designed to get journalists
to call you. Reporters and broadcasters need knowledgeable sources
to interview and quote when they write stories or line up guests.
The Sources directory
is the first place most journalists turn to when they need to find
experts and spokespersons. Even when they're doing a search on Google
or another search engine, they are likely to be led to your Sources
listing -- Google alone has more than 89,000 index entries pointing
searchers to the experts -- like you -- on the Sources
Sources works because it gives journalists what they
most need in their day-to-day work: a wealth of human contacts -
people like you - offering a wide range of views and expertise,
ready and willing to speak to the media. That's why a Sources
listing complements and magnifies your other efforts to publicize
Sources magnifies your Internet visibility
your relationships with reporters