Here’s a great article by Bonnie Boots about how to get a reporter to use you as a resource, to become THE person they quote in their next article. She always has easy to digest nuggets of information filled with resources you can take advantage immediately.
How To Get Yourself and Your Business Mentioned By A Reporter by Bonnie Boots
Can you imagine what it would do for your business if you were mentioned in a newspaper or magazine article or even a book?
You can’t buy that kind of publicity. It only comes by chance, when a reporter calls and asks you for a quote. But there are ways of vastly increasing your chances, and they’re all online.
When I was working in print journalism, one of my biggest challenges was finding relevant people I could quote. By relevant, I mean people that had actually expertise or personal experience in the topic I was writing about.
For example, in writing a lengthy report on the challenge of providing adequate mental health care, I had to be able to quote people on both sides of the story, people dealing personally with mental health issues as well as those involved in providing mental health services.
It’s not easy to get people on either side to speak out publicly. People working for government-funded services can be fired for making statements that haven’t been approved by their supervisors. And because there’s still a stigma attached to mental illness, people with mental health issues in their family often keep it very private.
I spent many hours hitting the streets and working the phone to come up with enough people to quote for that feature article. Every reporter goes through this. And every reporter has seen a story they really want to write slip through their fingers because they can’t find appropriate people willing to be quoted.
Reporters need people to quote. And you know what they say about businessâ€¦find a need and fill it!
So imagine if you were the person who provided a reporter with the quotes they need? Imagine if you were the one getting written up in the New York Times, or even your local newspaper.
You can do more than imagine it. You can make it happen. The easiest way to start is by subscribing to a service called Reporter’s Source at http://www.reporterssource.com/
Reporter’s Source describes itself as “a free service linking journalists and other members of the media with businesses and individuals.”
Reporters looking for people to interview fill out a form describing their intended story and exactly the kind of people they are looking for. People interested in being a source for a reporter can register for the daily newsletter. Every day it arrives with a list of requests from reporters and writers.
If you have information or experience that’s pertinent to their story, you can send a brief synopsis of information that Reporter’s Source will forward to the journalist. If the writer uses you, the result can be big publicity for your business or self.
On any given day, the requests from reporters and writers can range from parents of grad students willing to talk about the parent/almost-adult child dynamic, to experts on the health insurance industry.
If you are chosen for an interview, never ask a reporter to mention anything in particular about yourself or your business. For example, it’s highly inappropriate to ask a reporter if they’ll put in a plug for your web site. Reporters are in the business of writing reports, not your publicity. Don’t tick them off by asking.
But do be aware that reporters are looking for one thing–good story material. The more you tell them about yourself and your business, and the more you can tell it in such a way that it relates to the story being written, the more likely the reporter is to use your information.
For example, if you’re being interviewed for a report on people working from home, you’d naturally want to mention that working on the internet allows you to do business around the world, while sitting at a laptop in your living room.
Mention that you have the freedom to work in jeans and baggy t-shirts, to work any hours you choose, and to automate large portions of your business, and you’ll wind up making your web site an interesting and important part of the reporter’s story.
If you’re seeking free publicity, remember that reporters are seeking you!
About the Author
Bonnie Boots is the publisher/editor of The Internet Wizards Magazine for people who want to create their own products and market on the internet. Register for your free 1-year subscription at http://www.theinternetwizards.com