An overlooked way to grab media attention and become an industry expert

friday, 24 february of 2012

An overlooked way to grab media attention and become an industry expert

by Tom Trush

Over the weekend, I was lurking around LinkedIn and came across a discussion in a local business owners group.

A business development manager wanted ideas on how to get customers for his start-up. He stated, "Companies do not want to talk to you unless you have established a customer base ... even though we have services that are needed and great staff."

The way his statement was phrased I couldn't help but wonder if he would have an easier time attracting customers if his attention was on his prospects. Statements such as "established a customer base," "services that are needed" and "great staff" are dead giveaways that his focus is on his company.

From a marketing perspective, these traits do little to set you apart from your competition. "Services that are needed" and a "great staff" are especially common claims any company can make.

But by focusing attention on delivering value and educating prospects, you can provide proof for these types of claims -- even if you own a start-up. Furthermore, by demonstrating and distributing knowledge that addresses prospect problems, you meet people's desire for information without human interaction.

One overlooked marketing piece that gives you a perfect opportunity to share knowledge is a press release. Now, you may believe press releases are only for corporate giants. Worse yet, you might be hesitant to write a press release because you believe you have nothing newsworthy to announce.

Get over these misconceptions immediately!

Prior to pursuing my business full-time at the end of 2004, I worked as an editor and newsroom supervisor at a newswire for nearly 6 years. I've edited and distributed thousands of press releases -- and many were not-so-cleverly disguised pitches from companies hoping to land a feature article or segment on the news.

Although features are always a possibility, here's a little-known secret that will increase your chances of appearing in the media as an expert:

Make yourself known as someone who shares knowledge.

Simply pay attention to writers/editors who cover topics related to your industry and volunteer yourself as a source You can do this by contacting them or regularly sending out press releases that describe tips or strategies you can offer to their audiences.

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© Trey Ryder

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