Small Business: Do-It-Yourself Media Relations

Introduction

Personal trainers and fitness models often form small businesses to either take care of training clients or to promote yourself to photographers and clothing brands.

From interviewing and researching some personal trainers and fitness models for the blog, I have been finding that these small business owners also have great personal stories that could contribute positively to a news story. How do these business owners and potentially interested media outlets make a connection (but cannot afford a media relations firm)? The answer is through do-it-yourself media relations.

A Note on the Media Business: Contracting yet Still Important

I used to be a business-to-business journalist in weekly legal publications. I often was awed by the work of the daily journalists who dealt with challenging daily deadlines to produce publishable content. My sources were in reference materials; daily reporters must find relevant people to provide quotes for an article.

I loved my work, but with the Internet, the journalism industry has become a more challenging field, starting with print, and now occurring in the television. Lots of media outlets have closed or consolidated. Still, the thrill of finding a great story is in me even though I am in another non-journalist career. Seeing my article that I toiled to complete in print is another great feeling.

What are Media Relations?

I found an explanation of media relations at the Media Maven and More website “[I]t’s earning placement in the media without paying for it. When you pay for it, it’s advertising. When you don’t pay for it, it’s media relations.”

With fewer media outlets, interested business owners must contact the reporters that cover a particular issue and to provide them with relevant stories that will entertain, educate, or enlighten to the journalist’s audience. Also, I took a Muck Rack course on the fundamentals of media relations. In that course, media outlets also look at how many clicks a story gets.

In the Muck Rack course, stories that tend to get a high number of clicks are those involving politics, celebrity, or sports. Following that are stories that have a strong connection with the media outlet’s local area.

This work takes some time, but when you find a relevant journalist that covers your industry area and you have a story that entertains, educates or enlightens the audience, you will be successful and develop a good relationship with the media.

Media Relations Preparation Work Homework

Interested in doing the work to get media coverage? To get such coverage, you will have to do the homework. I recommend doing an Internet search on media relations to see what information is out there.

What you will need is to find out your story. A PDF from Pitch Rate is helpful to creating your press kit for your website. Then I would recommend checking out the Muck Rack course. Muck Rack is pricey for small businesses, but they offer helpful free content.

When Ready to Look for Media Publications, Start Local

Also, see Phoenix Jackson’s YouTube video for some more great tips as you get started. One great tip that is in the video is to check out all sources of local media—local newsletters and bulletins that are a good fit for your personal story or your business.

Conclusion

I wish you the best of luck in your search for media coverage. It requires some background work; however, your focus on doing things right and preparing well will be a huge benefit for you and your relationships with media and their audience.

Please let me know of your successes and challenges in the comment section or by sending me an email.

If you find some information that is helpful to you and not mentioned in the article, please tell me in the contents or through an email.

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