Person of Interest
Media advertising can be expensive, and it often costs more money than it brings in. Rather than buying a tiny print ad that gets lost in the sauce, or a bargain rate TV ad that airs at two in the morning, consider being the news of the day. Establishing yourself as an expert in your field, then using your reputation to attract the media’s attention, is a process that takes some time. However, it will be time well spent. Build your brand by blogging, posting memes and videos on social media, participating in community events, and providing exceptional customer service to your clients.
A conventional approach to attracting media attention is to craft a compelling press release. Since the media is in the business of proving the public with a steady stream of news, a good press release can be a godsend on a slow news day. The key is to shroud your advertising message in a story that is newsworthy, something that stimulates an emotional response from the reader. For example, a news release that profiles the biography of a notable client, or one that details dramatic life-changing results, is more likely to capture the media’s eye than a release that merely announces a change in business hours. The site gebbie.com is an online source that provides accurate addresses for thousands of media outlets.
Meet the Press
It is often said that it is not what you know, but whom you know, that gets you to the top. Networking with other business leaders in your community by joining organizations like the SBA, or Small Business Association, can help you get the word out. It can also provide important links to your local media. Entrenching yourself in local cultural life can give you direct access to media celebrities. Patronize the arts by attending theater, museum, symphony and opera events. Find the media booths at fairs and festivals, and chat it up with DJs and TV anchors. Present yourself and your business in a low-key conversational tone, and always leave a business card. When they need to find an expert, you will already have made an impression.
Tit for Tat
Media celebrities love to be in the limelight, and image is everything. Offering free or discounted services to local media bigwigs can pay off in word of mouth advertising that reaches a broad audience. Try bartering your services for ad space in small local press publications. Ask to be featured on a morning news show to demonstrate the latest workout craze in exchange for free personal training sessions. Offer a free yoga session to the DJs of a favorite local radio station in exchange for a live radio interview. By giving something other than money in exchange for media attention, you will build rapport with the public and with the press.
Marketing with limited funds can be a challenge, but W.I.T.S. has helpful resources that can take some of the guesswork out of your marketing decisions. To hit your target every time, check out our online sales and marketing courses from the W.I.T.S. Fitness Business Institute.
References and Credits
Business Know-How: How to Get Free Media Publicity for Your Business
Entrepreneur:10 Ways for Startups to Score Media Coverage
*Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.