by helen on May 18, 2011

In the race to get ahead of your competition, do you feel you are winning or losing the battle for your customers’ attention?

 How many times have you read about one of your competitors in the newspaper, in a business magazine, and online? Or, even worse, seen a competitor featured on a prime time TV programme?


And how many times have you wondered, how do they do it? How do they get the media to pay attention?


Is it because they are a better business? More likely, they are a business that is better at communicating.


Your customers, the media, in fact, all of us are being swamped with a deluge of information. So how do you find the right thing to say to the people that matter to your business – and, more importantly, how do you make them notice you?


If you have 30 mins, grab a coffee and enjoy 109 Ways to Make Your Business Irresistible to the Media  which is a former reporter’s take on how to entice journalists to highlight your business. I came across this exhausting extensive list via PR in Your Pajamas – so thanks to Elena Verlee for signposting and check out her blog for more great publicity tips for entrepreneurs.


In a nutshell, most organisations have news appeal – an ability to attract the interest of the media. It’s just that they don’t know how to flaunt it.


OK, let me explain my theory.


If we compare news appeal to sex appeal – which after all is what I’m basing the phrase on – we can see why some organisations are failing to exploit their news appeal successfully.


Wikipedia defines sex appeal as “a response to another person that depends on a combination of the person possessing the traits and also on the criteria of the person who is attracted”.


Given that most journalists are looking for stories about people or businesses and how they are succeeding/innovating/creating jobs etc it stands to reason that all organisations have the right traits or hooks to bait the journalists.


So all businesses need to do, is work out which traits or stories will attract each journalist or blogger – and then bait the line and reel the journalists in…


Sounds simple, doesn’t it?


·        Research the media – what are your customers reading/watching? Where would you like your business to be featured? Build your relationship with journalists (or find a PR who has good contacts) – what are they interested in, what are their pet hates/top topics, when and how do they prefer to be contacted, what are their deadlines.

·        Choose your hooks – find interesting stories about your products/services, customers, employees, business practices, industry trends etc. (Make sure you compare your story ideas to the ones the journalists are writing about regularly.)

·        Go fishing – choose the right time (industry trends, company milestones, publication’s planned features, significant events – eg Budget, unemployment figures announced) and don’t be discouraged if you don’t land a big catch every time!


So go on, flaunt your news appeal!


If you need help, I have pretty good contacts and over 15 years experience of fishing in various media pools.;)


Photo courtesy of Shaun Flannery Photography

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