This month I attended Chicago’s Small Business Entrepreneur Expo, which is an annual free event hosted by City Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely. It was a cool opportunity to attend a few workshops; network with other entrepreneurs; hang out with a few clients; learn some new information; as well as refresh my memory on small business basics.
One of my favorite workshops offered media training advice for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It was hosted by Nancy Pender, long-time Chicago news anchor, voice-over artist and PR Specialist and Lilia Chacon, also a long-time Chicago news anchor and current Communications Director with the Office of the City Treasurer.
Both of these award-winning news journalists (both are the recipients of Emmy and Peabody Awards) shared some helpful info on how to be successful when working with the media. Check out four of their tips below:
- Be honest in your pitch. As you seek coverage with media outlets, do make your product, service, or event sound exciting, but don’t over exaggerate. If you misinform the media and they share your story with the public, it could hurt your reputation with them and you could lose credibility with potential customers.
- Be mindful of deadlines. If a reporter reaches out to you, find out what their deadline is. Make sure that you follow-up in a timely manner.
- Do your research. Find reporters who would be interested in your topic. Have they covered your industry before? If so, what can you add to the discussion? Do you have a unique point of view or new info to share?
- Be prepared and accessible. Know the facts before you do an interview. What is the who, what, when, where, and how of the story? If you don’t know an answer, state, “I’m not prepared to answer that question right now, let me follow-up with you.” Also, if you are interested in media coverage, be available. If a reporter has to hunt you down for an interview or statement, you might send off the vibe that you are uninterested.
For more advice on this topic, read my post: 3 Ways to Prepare for A Media Interview.
Have you worked with the media before? What tips would you add to this list? Leave a comment below or tweet them to me at @BoriquaChicks.
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