The press and media love an expert. It provides them with a valued opinion on a story and also helps them to move the story on. Making yourself an expert in the eyes of the press and media is hugely valuable. It gives you exposure to many people and used wisely will help to support your business. So, what can you do to make yourself an expert? Demonstrate your expertise - If you are good at what you do then you should be able to demonstrate your expertise. This could be through awards, how you have helped individuals, businesses etc, your past experience in providing comment, your years of experience, the major projects you have been involved in. Very often it’s what you might say to other business people when networking to illustrate how you have helped customers. Shout about your credibility - It’s no good being shy - no one will think you are an expert if you avoid talking about yourself and what you and your business have achieved. Your position as an expert must filter through to everything you do and every piece of marketing material. Demonstrate your expertise on your website and through other promotional literature. Submit articles to directories like ezinearticles - It’s important to get your name out there. Journalists, just like everyone else, are searching for information on the Internet â€" they want background information that will help to support a story. Submitting articles to directories like ezinearticles will help to establish your expertise. Approaching relevant publications to offer comment - In addition to submitting articles to directories, you should consider approaching target publications with ideas for articles and comment you can provide. Online publications, in particular, are on a constant search for material. The nature of the Internet is that these publications are always looking to keep their sites fresh with new material to draw readers back. Articles for online publications give you access to key target groups as well as helping to build credibility with journalists. Propose an expert column - As well as providing articles there is often scope for suggesting an expert column to publications, or that you might be a worthy addition to the current panel. That in itself brings huge kudos and helps to build your profile â€" with readers as well as editorial staff. Approach the press and media on the back of a breaking news story - Once a news story breaks journalists rush around to get comment from experts â€" you need to ensure that they know what subjects you can comment on. There are a number of ways to approach this. You can submit your details to expert databases that journalists subscribe to. Or, you can be the first off the mark when a relevant story breaks and directly approach the press and media. The latter is more time consuming and relies on you having a good idea of the press and media and those likely to cover a particular story. In an ideal world you would do both. Secure speaker opportunities - The more speaker opportunities you can secure the more you can build your profile and demonstrate that you have something worthy to say. Certainly, if you can amass a number of speaker opportunities then this can look very impressive. Don’t forget your local press and media - National journalists do pick up stories from local papers and never forget that many local journalists have ambitions with the national press. If you can build relations with local press and media then that can be hugely valuable. In addition, it’s useful to get experience of handling the press and media at a local level before embarking on targeting national journalists. Call yourself an expert - If you don’t call yourself an expert then no one else will. How do people know unless you tell them and demonstrate it to them? Be available - It’s important that when press and media call you for comment you can make yourself available. Do this on a consistent basis and you will build a healthy working relationship â€" a ‘win-win’ relationship that will encourage them to come back to you time and again for comment. Journalists need you as much as you need them. Give what they want - well-sourced and credible opinion and views and you will be one step ahead of many of your competitors. Using PR to build your profile and protect your reputation can help you influence the audiences that are important to you - I invite you to access more free articles, tips and information on this and other subjects by visiting the free stuff section of the website - You can also receive regular advice, support and information by signing up to the newsletter via the website as well as accessing the DIY PR Toolkit, designed to give businsses a step-by-step approach to doing their own PR. Debbie Leven - Profile Matters - PR Consultants UK
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