Business development 14 October 2016

Four tips for mastering the media as an entrepreneur

It’s vital to have a good working relationship with the media.

Industry experts Vikki Cook and Adam Waters give company owners valuable advice on how best to handle the media.

It’s strange to think that in this socially-driven 21st century, the media industry can still seem intimidating to those who work outside of it.

We live in an era where we are all surrounded by platforms on which people can make themselves seen and heard, but many businesses still ignore the basics of media relations.

If you’re a small business or entrepreneur starting out, it’s vital that you not only understand the value of a good working relationship with the media. You also need to know how you can work with the media so you can grow your business and your brand.

Once you’ve got your head around what the media can do for you, you then need to grasp what you can do for the media.

In a time poor, crowded market, multi-platform publishers are no longer just looking for content, they’re looking for amazing content.  And how do you go about producing it? What platforms are right for your organisation? It could be building a social media brand or working with a radio station.

Many people don’t just feel intimidated by approaching media organisations. Social media can scare many professionals and knowing how to use it effectively is difficult to learn.

Business professionals are busy enough. As we’ve shown trying to master the media can add a lot more pressure and questions that need answering.

So what can you do? Here are four areas entrepreneurs can work on to make the most of the opportunities media provides your brand and business.

(1) Network

It’s important to develop access and insight into the media world, how it works and what makes the people in it “tick”. Networking is essential as you build great contacts and learn how to make your network work with you. Getting to know media professionals gives you great opportunities and advice to get your organisation out there.

(2) Knowledge

It takes confidence to work directly with the media. A key way to develop that confidence is by growing your own understanding and knowledge. Ultimately, you need to understand what journalists and media outlets are looking for and how to give them what they want, while communicating your own message.

(3) Profile

It won’t happen overnight, but there are essential tips to utilise and skills to develop which will help you create a higher media profile for yourself and your brand. But, once this is created, you have to keep nurturing and maintaining that image.

(4) Content

Great content will get you noticed and the art of good storytelling must be at the heart of everything you do. In a crowded market, you want “stand out” content that will set you apart from your competitors.

A stunning image, a powerful video, an incredible fact, an amazing quote, an outstanding company ambassador – discover your most valuable asset and don’t be afraid to use it.

Whilst it may seem relatively simple when laid out like this but many firms still need help when it comes to creating their marketing and media strategy.

If you’re a small company, you may not feel you have the budget needed to enlist a bit of outside help. The good news is that mastering the media doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag of a glossy PR firm.

Media experts, Vikki Cook and Adam Waters, are hosting an event to teach companies and individuals the fundamentals of how to work with the media.

Vikki Cook is head of broadcasting consultancy Cookie Media. Adam Waters runs Sunbather, the digital consulting arm of the British Forces Broadcasting Service.

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