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How to spread the word via the media

12th February 2014 By Barry Walker in Small Business News

By signing up to ‘Trading for Good’ you are agreeing to support your local community in one of five ways: by supporting charities and communities; by helping young people into work; improving your impact on the environment; working better with your suppliers; and making life better for your employees.

In order to spread the news of your achievements and to communicate the good actions of your business and what you are achieving by being part of Trading for Good, Barry Walker from the BlackChilli Creative Hub has a number of points for you to consider when either setting out to make news or when talking about your news to the media. BlackChilli loves helping all businesses and with that in mind, we’ve drawn up a list of the most common offences we see time and time again when businesses set out to raise their own profile. When trying to engage with the media there is nothing worse than a missed opportunity, so seek to avoid these seven major mistakes at all costs as they can often cost your business the success it deserves when creating a ‘buzz’ about want it is you do.

Slow response speed


Time is of the essence. You need to be able to react quickly when either you have a story worth telling or the phone rings when a publication picks up on your news. Often journalists have limited time and will contact several companies, so the first positive responses they get will typically make it into the article. Get in there first, make sure it’s yours. Be prepared.

Think like a
Journalist

To have an understanding of what journalists are looking for when pitching your story to a publication. Attempt to recognise current trends and buzz topics within their media, then find a way of relating your product to them. Make it easy for them. Be relevant. Be flexible.

Media guru or media face of the campaign


Is your media man or media face out of the office when a journalist calls? When creating a story or pitch to the media what are you going to do if your main spokesperson is absent? Plan to have a number of key team members briefed and trained to act as spokespeople should the chance come knocking. This also works with adverse news and is even more important when protecting your reputation. Ensure that the correct messages are planned, rehearsed and in the hands of someone who can communicate the right story.

Prepare your answers


From experience we have found that with a big interview coming up clients often freak out and get flustered. The number of times we hear the phrase ‘we need media training’ is palpable. A journalist will have planned his questions before he speaks to you, so you should plan your answers. This is a plan you often see politicians putting into action. They have an answer and they stick to it in an interview, so you should plan your answers too. They’re looking for small, concise, informative replies that are easy to digest and publish. Try asking the Journalist for the questions prior to the interview.

Stay on track


You’re an expert in your field; you could talk about your company for days. Don’t get carried away. One of the most common things journalists see are interviewees getting stuck down in the detail. Stay general, highlight the benefits. Think about it from their perspective.

Follow your own agenda


Journalists know what their Editor and readers want, and will have questions planned out. If these don’t cover an important part of your business that you want brought forward, then make sure they know. The chances are, it will be something they want to know about too.

Don’t give anything away


If this isn’t the sort of chance you get often, talking to the media that is, you may be too eager and give away future plans or company secrets. Try to stay calm and collected, plan what you’re going to say. Get your main and most important points across clearly and concisely.

If you have a particular story or idea that you think will have real media appeal, then you should contact ‘Trading for Good’ as we can help you plan the most appropriate and effective approach plus put you in contact with people that can help turn a good story int a really great one!

Barry Walker is a Director of the BlackChilli Creative Hub, a full service and communications agency.

Email: barry@blackchilli.co.uk
Website: www.blackchilli.co.uk

Barry Walker
About the Author

Barry Walker

Managing Director at Blackchilli

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