04.07.16

So…How Do You Get the Media to Pay Attention to Your Business?

By: Odalys Miranda-Reyes, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC)

“Oh my goodness… this is a television set,” I think as I take my seat for the Startup Study Hall event in Indianapolis. Put on by the Startup Ladies Kristen Cooper, this monthly event aims to educate women entrepreneurs and “eliminate barriers that were preventing women from starting up a business.”

Launch Fishers - Start Up Study Hall

There’s a palatable excitement in the room as Tracy Chen and Gerry Dick prepare to present to the room full of many Indiana women entrepreneurs. The topic? How to pitch your business successfully to get chosen as a business worthy to spotlight on Inside Indiana Business or other similar media sources.

So here I am, poised with my pen and paper, scrambling to keep up with the wisdom and information that starts pouring from their mouths. Tracy and Gerry mention how they approach an interview, FAQ’s they receive from businesses, to-do’s and no-no’s, and so much more. By the end of it my hand is cramping, but the information is gold! I bet you want to know what it is huh? Okay okay, I think I can let you in on some media tips and trick. Get ready to take down notes, because like I said, it’s GOLD!

How to pitch your business via press release: DON’T BURY THE LEAD! Television and media producers already have enough on their plates in addition to reading and responding to emails. Put the big investment, the growth in sales, new jobs, or whatever your accomplishments may be in the first three lines. Include a brief description of your company, contact information, and the person(s) available for the interview. Sounds simple enough right? Because it is!

What if your business/service isn’t TV material? Realize which avenue for media best fits what you’re trying to say. Your content might be better suited for the media newsletter than for an interview on the show or vice versa. Either way, you are still putting your business out there!

What do you wear to the interview? If you’re going to be on television representing your business, you don’t want to walk onto the set wearing jeans and a hoody. But you don’t want to be dressed for a gala either. So, what do you do? Wear an outfit that’s business casual. Avoid wearing white and leave the chunky jewelry at home. If you move your hands when you speak (i.e. me), you don’t want them to clank every time your arm rests on the desk.

You can never be too prepared, right? WRONG! The BIGGEST MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE IS TO BE OVER-PREPARED. Gerry and Tracy want to make sure that you give a thoughtful response to their questions. Tell your story. You are the expert of your business. Remember that!

Now take this information and apply it. No matter what stage your business is in, I encourage you to take what you’ve just read and adjust it to what your business means. We here at WEOC are here for YOU! Hey you never know; you might see us on TV someday.

Click on the following links to find out more about:

The Startup Ladies

http://www.thestartupladies.org

Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/

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