Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting Press For Your Small Business Event By NAWBO

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Tuesday’s NAWBO event at the Merion Cricket Club in Haverford brought together women small business owners, public relations professionals and local media professionals from around the Philadelphia-area region. The event titled “How to Get Press for Your Small Business” was very informative with media professionals from radio, newspapers, magazines and TV were in attendance.

The two-part program, moderated by Jennifer Sherlock of Jenna Communications, featured panelists:
Craig Ey, Philadelphia Business Journal - Editor
Jeanine Clingenpeel, SmartCEO magazine – Editor
Debbie Goetz, Debbie Goetz Media Connections, LLC - Public Relations & Media Relations Consultants
Nydia Han, 6abc Action News Consumer Reporter/Anchor
• Autumn Marisa, Host for Tango Traffic
• Brad Segall, Suburban Bureau Chief at KYW Newsradio 1060
Karen Hepp, Anchor and Reporter - FOX 29 News

Some of the most important and useful takeaways were:

Craig Ey shared that the Philadelphia Business Journal reporters often get swamped by email and it’s refreshing to get a pitch via telephone. A great way to be quoted in the paper is to find a trending news topic and tie your expertise into the story. The best time to send a press release for an event is one week in advance.

Debbie Goetz notes that it’s important to find a pitch angle or hook to tie in current events or local ties for the media. The news must answer the question, why should I care?

Jeanine Clingenpeel encouraged small business owners to provide content to SmartCEO out of the “Spirit of Giving” meaning that the information in an article should be a useful resource to the readers. Experts should give back of their knowledge and share information that will resonate with the audience. Articles should be written to display thought leadership and the writers need to know the magazine’s niche audience. She encouraged the event attendees to read the magazine and know the audience it serves.

Brad Segall loves unusual, quirky and bizarre stories for the radio. He talked about the morning drive prime time on the radio and how it’s a popular time for news because motorists listen to KYW on their commute to work. Key stories that catch his eye are the ones that can help make a change or how to do something in a better way. At some point, when you pitch him a story, he is going to get you or your client on the phone to gauge how well you come across.

Autumn Marisa discussed putting a personal touch on an email to her, but remembering to keep it concise and to the point. She suggested following her on Twitter. Many don’t realize that Tango Traffic is a 24-hour traffic channel and Autumn shared that during a 4-hour show, the hosts need things to talk about.

Nydia Han encouraged people who want to pitch the media to “think outside the box.” She said it’s really important to have the expert be available when pitching a story. If someone makes themselves available at last minute when they are needed, the media is more likely to call them the next time an “expert opportunity” pops up. She gave tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your news is timely and different.
  • Make sure it has a wide appeal for the audience
  • Could be a solution to a problem
  • “News you can use” – should teach people
  • Must have visual appeal for TV, provide a wow factor

Emotional news that will make people angry or feel good can help to determine if the story will interest the media. She also said that senior citizens and pets are always good visual topics.

Lastly, Karen Hepp noted that experts on the news need to be good at TV – speak in short sound bites, know their material and be confident. She emphasized the need to personalize a pitch to an individual reporter.

All in all, the event was very successful and helped to give some good tips on media pitching and the best ways to get the attention of the media. To get started, do some intial earn a reporter’s beat or discover who the publication caters to and begin to cultivate a personal relationship.

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