Karyn Woodhouse is the vice president of retail with Jones New York Group Canada
Make your small business irresistible to the media
Many organizations are keen to become the go-to expert in their field, which can be achieved by delivering good media interviews and expressing their views on their industry in the public domain. But is that something reserved only for big business?
Small businesses have a lot to offer journalists, and often it is the small business angle the media is looking to put forward, but if your business doesn’t claim the space quickly, someone else will.
So to help your small business gain that much desired media exposure and raise its profile, follow these simple 3 tips:
- Connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or in real life.
- Monitor the Twitter hashtags of your community. Often reporters chat with the public on Twitter, and you can respond to comments they make.
- Introduce yourself to reporters at big public or chamber of commerce events. Pass along your card, but don’t try and sell them the idea on the spot. Just be helpful.
Once you’ve connected, make the transition smooth
- Define the story in just one sentence, so you can easily explain it to the media in 10 seconds.
- Include people in your story. Many owners try to pitch their company’s achievements, but stories that sell normally have people involved, not just the company.
- Focus on selling the benefits to viewers, listeners or readers first. It’s about their perspective of what you’re selling, not about how wonderful it would be for you to sell your product or service.
Become a favorite source for reporters
- Explain things chronologically if possible and don’t waste time. Assume you won’t have more than half an hour to speak to the reporter.
- Speak slowly, so the reporter has time to take notes and mentally process what you’re saying.
- Respond to a reporter’s phone call or e-mail immediately, or as soon as humanly possible. Reporters love dependable, helpful people.
- Answer the obvious questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How and So What.
- Ponder how you will answer every potential question, and don’t assume there won’t be any difficult ones.
The Calgary Chamber is often approached by members of the media looking for a small business source to add depth their story.
At the moment we have three opportunities for small business owners who might like more profile for their business:
- If you want your story told well, consider a member spotlight on the new CalgaryChamber.com and build your online profile, both great ways for the media to find you.
- CBC's: Big Decision
- The Globe and Mail - Small Business section
If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact our media specialist, Jesse Semko at email@example.com.