When you look at PR opportunities, where do you want to appear?

If you’ve been reading my blogs a while you’ll know that the national dailies are not the first target for most businesses.  If you’re aiming to build a reputation for being an expert in your field you need to be where your target audience are looking.  National dailies are too random – the demographics of their readership is so broad that it’s almost ‘anyone’!

However, while your ideal client’s industry journals are a good first choice, don’t ignore broadcast media.

OK – the ‘This Morning’ sofa might be a big step, but there are better – and easier – places to start. 

Have you tried local radio?

If you check your area there will be lots of local radio stations.  Some are online only, others broadcast over the radio waves, but they all have audiences and different audience demographics at different times of day.

A quick search of Radio stations in Essex produced a list of 10 FM broadcast stations and quite a few online digital stations.  I’m sure your area will be the same.  Radio stations are always looking for interesting stories that relate to the local area, so if you can put together a good story for the press, you can do the same for local radio.

Pick your station and the presenter or producer that handles the shows that are ideal for your audience.  For instance, if you want to reach business people, the early morning show and drive-time are probably your best bets.

Once you’ve appeared once, you’ll usually be on their radar and may be asked to appear on future shows that have relevant content.  Also some of the smaller stations are open to discussing a regular slot if you’ve got good content to share.

Most counties have a BBC radio station too and if your story does well on a local station it can be picked up by BBC national stations.

Become an expert

If you really want to get onto the mainstream media you could register on sites such as FindaTVExpert or Expert Sources.  These are subscription sites, but, along with other similar databases, are where producers of talk shows and news programmes go to find someone who can comment on whatever they’re discussing.

Our top tip is to ensure you are:

  1. easy to contact and respond positively
  2. available – or they probably won’t try a second time
  3. if a producer asks you to get back to them by a certain time – don’t miss their deadline.

If you’re willing to accommodate their requirements they’ll come back to you.  If you do well they’ll pass on your details to other producers/journalists.

Generally, it’s good to have an up-to-date website that features your core subjects prominently and, ideally, has either video or audio material of you so producers can see how you come over and get an idea of what you’re expert in.  You may need to invest in SEO to ensure your website – or the particular page you want people to find – shows up on the first page or two of searches.

A blog is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise too.  It shows you know what you’re talking about and gives a flavour of your opinions.