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Episode Info

Episode Info:

The development of social media has made it so easy for all of us to connect and to spread the word about ourselves, our projects and our businesses. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have changed the way we do business and it seems like there’s a new platform coming along almost every week! With all the excitement and accessibility of social media, it’s easy to forget the power that more traditional media holds as a means of growing your business. Our guest on this episode of the number one small business podcast is going to talk through how you can make inroads into traditional media streams and tap into a huge audience that can help your business develop.

As soon as something new comes along, plenty of folks believe it spells the end for what went before. Remember when the first Kindle was introduced? It was supposed to be the end of the paperback but books are still around. Diversification doesn’t equal extinction, and the same is true of today’s media. Sure, lots of us like to watch TV on-demand, to cut out everything we don’t want on the radio by listening to podcasts and to cherry-pick the news stories that matter to us online rather than trawling through the newspaper. However, traditional media sources still have the largest audiences of all. Plenty of people still love sitting down to watch the evening news, listen to the radio throughout the day and read their favourite columnists in the papers. These are the comforting, reliable news sources that we’ve grown up with and people are far more likely to trust and believe in something they hear from one of these sources than any other.

That’s great, but how on earth can you get your business to be featured in the media? Well, in some respects, it’s an extension of things that you might already be doing. We’re all experts in our industries and we might use the knowledge that we have to answer questions on Twitter, make videos for YouTube or speak at industry conferences. Traditional media channels regularly speak to industry professionals for more information about relevant news stories. Making yourself known to be an expert in a particular area and then making yourself known to particular journalists could lead to an appearance on the radio, local or national TV, or in the newspaper. If things go well, you could become the ‘go-to’ professional for a particular niche.

It’s all about letting the right people know your speciality, using some techniques to present yourself and your knowledge well and being available to talk. The potential audience for a couple of minute piece about a news story in your niche is huge and has the potential to make a big impact on your business!

Joining us on this episode of Excellence Expected is Pete Walter. Pete has worked as a TV producer for both MTV and BBC News and knows just what it takes to get an appearance in the media. He now runs his own business helping professionals deal with the media and to get the most from a mutually beneficial relationship.

Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:

How can I gain the attention of the traditional media to help my business?

About Pete:

Pete Walter is a media coach and the founder of Deal with the Media, a platform that aims to help businesspeople of all backgrounds improve their media skills. Pete spent the earlier part of his career as a producer making programs for MTV and the BBC. In 2008, he moved to BBC News where he worked with worldwide stars and experts in almost every field imaginable.

Pete’s with us on this episode of the number one small business podcast to discuss the business opportunities that exist or those who feature in traditional media, how you can improve your chances of being invited to contribute and his tips for making your story irresistible.

Actionable Tips:

  1. Get active on Twitter. Journalists spend a great deal of time hanging out on Twitter. There are huge Twitter lists containing information, so try and search for one listing journalists in your niche. Check out what they’re tweeting about and look out for an opportunity to interact with them, help them out with some background and get a relationship going. When you have some kind of relationship, they will be more receptive to your story and will think to come to you for comment if a new story comes up. There’s a five point acronym for powerful stories:


Topical – Possibly the most important one of all. You can leverage what’s going on in news. If something is happening that is relevant to your industry and business, then that’s the perfect time to strike and get in front of a journalist. They will be looking for experts to talk about the new story.

Relevance – You need to pitch appropriately. Tabloid and broadsheets are different and if you send the same email to both of them then the chances are that neither of them will reply. But if you send a gossipy one and a fact based one they are a bit more likely to use them as they can imagine seeing it in their newspaper. Get in their minds and see your story in the context of their media outlet.

Unusual – It has to be something unique or unusual. If it’s the 7th year that you’ve run a festival, then that’s pretty boring, but the 50th year is much more interesting. What is unique and unusual about your story?

Trouble – Journalists love writing about trouble. If you can frame your story in such as a way that you will be creating bad news for someone else then, it may be more interesting for a journalist. Uber is a good example as everywhere they go they cause trouble but they keep on building their brand to astronomical levels.

Human – This is terrifically important. Journalists deal with things from a human interest angle. They want to talk about what’s going on with people in the story first, before they start talking about the facts and the figures.

  1. Realize that your followers are your biggest secret weapon. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when they send out a press releases is that it is all about them. This isn’t always that interesting but if you can show that you are part of a trend or you’re creating a small movement around your business, then that’s far more interesting. If you can get customers to speak on your behalf, then it’s far more powerful than you just speaking by yourself. This is much more of an appealing story for a journalist.
  2. Always be available and always be polite. Being available for appearances in the media at short notice is important as it will lead to more opportunities to speak about matters in your niche. Being polite and nice to those that you deal with will also go a long way. Check out the example of Henry Pryor, an expert on the housing market. He has made more than a thousand appearances on the BBC in the last decade as he is known to be knowledgeable, always readily available and a great guest to deal with. This free advertising has seen Henry’s business boom and he is never short of clients.

Top Quotes:

  • “If you manage to get referenced or recommended by the media, far, far more people will pick up on it when compared with advertising.”
  • “If you have the right story and a superb communicator, there’s a great opportunity to be featured in the media, not only once but again and again.”
  • “If you can get good at it, through practice and applying the right techniques, then you can become a recognized media expert in your niche and that can drive a huge amount of revenue and interest your way.”
  • “TRUTH – Topical, Relevant, Unusual, Trouble, Human”

Pete’s Links:

Key Timestamps:

  • [00:41] Challenged Issue
  • [01:03] Pete’s Introduction
  • [07:40] Traditional Media
  • [12:22] Media Myths
  • [17:32] How to Capitalise
  • [21:16] Actionable Tips
  • [41:27] Pete’s Links

Don’t forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

The post Make Your Story Irresistible to the Media with This 5 Step Plan appeared first on Excellence Expected, by Mark Asquith.

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