Tell the Media You’re an Expert

Media relations is crucial to attaining publicity. Reporters don’t know everyone or everything, but they kind of need to. My relationships with reporters have led to some odd or unexpected articles. I’m an expert in women’s rights, women’s health care services, and public relations strategies. I know a little something about Nevada politics. I can whip up an election strategy, a grassroots campaign and churn out voters. I can talk about sex, religion or politics-often in the same speech. I happen to be Wiccan. These random skills or facts have lead to articles–I had a reporter ask me to call a colleague because he needed to know if Wiccans sacrifice black cats for a Halloween story. (We don’t-we actually don’t sacrifice anything. Tenet is “harm none”.) And no, I don’t wear a conical hat.

Media, from print to broadcast to bloggers, keep track of “experts”. You never know when a reporter needs a gardener, an accountant, a biologist, a machinist. Business reporters need to know resources in the varied industries within their community–they don’t know your business exists unless you reach out to them.

One step is to send them just a fact sheet about your services and expertise. Include employee skills if  they have unique skills or expertise. A women’s health center may provide a list of experts including fundraising, Medicaid negotiations, public policy impacts to women’s health, how to negotiate a relationship, how and when to talk to your teen about sex. Oh yeah, and provide medical experts on women’s health. Look for those skills. Then make a list and share with a reporter. Understand which reporter needs this kind of information–target your media audience whether it’s the health reporter, business editor, photojournalist. Provide contact information. Add links to websites or blogs if you have them. Just balance providing information–you don’t need to dump everything you know, or they’ll just dump the information into the trash.

Then follow up. Set up a few minutes to call and talk about news story ideas. It’s how you can get published.



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