Square peg, round hole
One of the blessings of being a journalist with my own media consultancy is the fact that I tend to know what the media want in terms of stories — and what they don’t want.
However this becomes a problem when a business owner feels that the media SHOULD write about their story and SHOULD write about them because they are soooo interesting.
Arrogance and ‘SHOULD’ and ‘MUST’ don’t play well with the British media and any PR professional reading this will know what I mean.
In practice this can lead to some PR agencies stringing along a business owner letting them believe that they will be of interest to the media for a few months — until that business owner calls a half because they’ve not got what they wanted from that relationship.
I call this the ‘delusion’ factor. Business owners who think and believe they are the great ‘I Am’ and everyone should love me (and yet will be zero effort into building their profile). Equally there are the business owners who think they are not interesting, nothing they do or say is of any wider interest and they have no stories. Also delusional. Yet I prefer working with the latter as they can be educated. The former cannot. Let’s face it, you can polish a ‘turd’ however it’s still a ‘turd’.
If you want to be of interest to the media — in the UK or anywhere else here are a few tips around your behaviour to consider:
- Humble and grateful — leave arrogance at the door, be humble and grateful in your tone.
- Say thank you — all positive media coverage is good and worthy of thanks and celebration — whether that’s on a national news website, print magazine or a blogger from your own backyard. It’s pretty great when someone writes about you positively.
- Be a person- journalists only write about products and services if they are writing one story on that particular range of products, which might be once in a blue moon. They write about people. Embrace your personality.
- Have an opinion — this does not mean have a rant or express extreme views based upon prejudice and without any ability to support with facts or data. Hold and share authentic opinions that you feel confident you can justify.
- Don’t be afraid to comment — journalists need people with relevant credibility (experience, qualifications, job roles) to comment on the news going on in the moment. You don’t have to point the finger or ‘have a go’ at any individual — you just have to share a fair comment based on the context.
- Keep in touch — journalists are like any other business contact with an audience at their disposal. They want to know what you are up to — they just don’t want to be spammed or bombarded with you every single day. Ask them if they mind receiving your monthly newsletter, or if they mind the occasional email from you. Keep them in your contacts’ ‘book’ and they will return the favour.