In a funk because other speakers seem to be snagging all the media attention? It’s time to start claiming your share. Here is a baker’s dozen of tips that will boost your public efforts and help you finally get aware.
1. Every time you speak before a group, offer to submit a short summary of your presentation for the group’s newsletter. Do not forget to send your photo. It gets you in front of those you just talked to as well as those who missed you the first time around. Many groups also send their newsletters to the media. Be sure the last paragraph tells people what you do and how to get in touch with you.
2. Call the advertising department of every newspaper and magazine you want to get into and ask for a copy of their editorial calendar. It’s a free listing of all the special topics and special sections coming up during the calendar year. It will tip you off to sections where your story idea would be a good fit, so you can query the editor weeks and even months ahead.
3. Call a reporter from your local newspaper and invite her to lunch or coffee. Offer yourself as a resource and Ask “How can I help you?” Feed her tips and story ideas. Become such a valuable source that she keeps coming back to you for more information and often writes about you.
4. Consider starting your own television show on your cable TV station’s community access channel. The station will provide the camera equipment for a $ 20 fee, and you can produce either one show or an entire suite of programs. Air time is free. Call your cable company for details.
5. Build a network of other speakers who concentrate on your topic or area of expertise. Agree informally that you will refer reporters to each other whenever the media calls. Often, reporters want more than one source for a story. It’s a chance for all of you to get additional publicity.
6. Whenever someone asks you to write for their ezine or online magazine, visit their web site first and see if they have a resource section where you would be a good fit. Ask to be listed for free, in exchange for providing an article.
7. If you publish a print newsletter, be generous with free subscriptions for the national and local media. You’ll be amazed how many reporters start calling you for interviews. If you can not afford to pay people who submit articles for your newsletter, be sure to tell them they will be seen by national media who get your free subscription.
8. Do not forget newspaper and magazine columnists. They’re always hungry for fresh ideas. Keep in touch with them and feed them ideas regularly.
9. Call local radio talk show hosts and invite them to call on you when other guests cancel. They will be thankful you offered.
10. Write articles for print newsletters. My favorite resource is the Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters, which lists more than 18,000 newsletters by topic and includes detailed information on the type of audience and subjects covered. Most larger libraries have this resource directory.
11. Write articles for electronic magazines and include a paragraph of information at the end that leads readers to your website. My favorite resource for thousands of ezines is Ezine Universe at http://www.ezine-universe.com
12. Contact your trade association and ask them to refer reporters to you. Many reporters who do not know where to find sources start by calling trade associations.
13. If you have some level of expertise, always refer to yourself as an “expert” in your marketing materials, at your website, in information that explains your workshops, in your introductions, and in your media kit. The media always seek out experts and interview them.
Follow these public advice and soon be able to promote yourself, your products and your programs.