With the emphasis these days on leveraging social media strategies we sometimes forget there are other forms of media to help grow your family business. You can, and should, take advantage of the opportunities available in traditional forms of media, such as television coverage, radio interviews and print. How do you become the news? Here are some tips that family business owners use:
1. Don't limit yourself.
If you manufacture pens, don't just focus on media opportunities to talk about pens. You may be waiting a long time. Don't limit your content or expertise to your products, services or ideas. Think big. What are other ways to connect to audiences? For example, let's say your family of penmakers travels the world digging wells in poor communities. Find outlets where you can share your experiences of serving together and highlight meaningful stories that are relevant to current events. Once you're on, you can briefly mention pens as an afterthought.
2. Start from the inside out.
Don't overlook opportunities in your backyard. That's obvious if you're a family business with a local presence. If you have an online or national presence, don't neglect local newspapers or publications thinking it's a waste of time. If you think that way, you're missing opportunities to establish your credibility and practice the art of conveying your talking points. Guess what a producer or reporter is going to do if she is thinking about having you on as a guest or feature you in print? She is going to enter your name in Google as well as Google News to see what comes up. It helps to see that others have covered you, and to read earlier comments in those publications. Take time to get covered in local publications to establish a record and build your credibility. It helps you to fine tune your message and adjust your talking points the more you get covered.
3. Become the media.
I have met family business owners with great experiences in both life and business. Writing a book is not the only way to get your message out. Why not start a radio show, a newspaper column, a morning show segment, or a television interview program? You can present a show idea where you're the expert who interviews guests around your topic. You can take the opposite approach and facilitate discussions that have nothing to do with your work. Why? It's a way for others to get to know, like and trust you. For example, your show featuring community organizations doing good works will help audiences connect with you emotionally. Making an emotional connection is a powerful way to compel others to business with you.
4. Join conversations on radio.
One trick that I've had personal success with is to join the conversation. The next time you hear a radio show host ask for people to call in with comments or questions, pick up the phone and call. That's your opportunity to show off. Offer valuable content that makes the audience and host want to learn more. You may get an offer right then and there to "hold so we can get your information and call you back." If there's no guest, you may become the guest on the spot. If you're bold and fast enough, you can sneak in your business name during a call. Listeners who connect with you will do the work of researching you and your business to learn more.
5. Seek opportunities worldwide.
Another mistake that family business owners make is that they target media opportunities only in their region. In a world without the Internet, that made sense. You're not living in that world, so your market needs to be global. You're not wasting time if your story or expertise is relevant to publications around the world. You become even more interesting if your story is featured on international platforms. Your comments may seem more fascinating because you're saying something new when dealing with an international audience.
You can marry your publicity efforts with social media. Once you do get covered in the media, you have great content to share on those platforms. It will help you to build credibility with your followers and fans as they see you become the news.