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Finding Your Media Niche

Jun 2, 2008
Gaining exposure using public relations for your business is a fantastic idea in order to drive sales. In order to do this you have to be really smart when it comes to the advertising and public relations tactics that you employ.

When it comes to public relations though, most people who are new at the game believe all you need to do is knock out a press release and wait for the requests to pour in. Then, when the phone doesn't ring, they might make a follow-up phone call or two to the newsroom!only to learn that no one's even glanced at their release!

Taking a passive approach with the media will not get you many positive results. The first tip? Find a media niche for your message!

You first need to look at your message and ask yourself a few questions. Is it newsworthy? Does it have a local twist? Is there a financial income I'm targeting? The answer to these questions will help you determine the correct medium.

First up is TV! Whether a morning, noon or evening newscast, they communicate to their audience through pictures. It's all visual. Producers are searching for topics that can be communicated to the audience in a visual and entertaining way, while being informative at the same time. "If you don't think your message can be visual, think again", says Marsha Friedman.

"My firm had a life insurance agency as a client and they really wanted television exposure for their Chief Executive Officer. The segment pitch we prepared was an interview about the importance of life insurance and why it's vital for women to protect themselves for the future."

Marsha Friedman continues, "Sounds boring right? Wrong! But we had our client prepare big, attractive graphs showing the mortality rate of women versus men, and that told a powerful visual story. In the end it was a very successful interview for our client!"

All newscasts are directed to a specific demographic. For instance , early morning news shows are usually watched by working adults and families getting ready for school. Lunchtime shows are aimed for stay at home moms and retired individuals. 11pm news shows are directed towards a young professional audience.

Matching up with the world of talk radio. Radio talk shows, in contrast to TV, communicate through words rather than pictures. Marsha Friedman says, "It's conversational, so you need to have a message that lends itself to a conversation. This medium also loves hot, newsworthy angels. Can you tie your topic to a news story that is hot in your area?

A similarity held by TV and talk radio is that each show is targeted to a specific demographic. With news, weather sports and traffic, talk show hosts don't have time for 30-minute interviews. Noon shows, really cover an array of topics across the board as now many people tune in at their office.

Today, you'll find lots of business shows airing during the work hours. After work is the second 'drive time' of the day. "Listeners are more relaxed then, and it's more conducive to a longer interview", adds Friedman.

And don't discount those overnight shows. Don't think that no one is listening. You'd be mistaken. Evening and overnight interviews reach a broad audience of listeners, including 2nd and 3rd shift workers, public service employees, truckers and many people who work overnight.

Now, why not get your name in print! Magazines and newspapers resemble radio and TV in that they're looking for the newsworthy, the entertaining, the informative as well. They are also similar to television at times as they like to have visuals every once in awhile.

Marsha Friedman says, "If you have a story about a gourmet food product, make sure to include a delectable dish photo." If you believe your story can really be supported with a photograph, graph or other related visual, then have one at the ready when pitching your story to newspapers and magazines.
About the Author
For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to http://www.publicitythatworks.com to claim your free "Power of Public Relations" video today!
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