International Women's Day 2014: Creating a Media Profile For Yourself

By Stefanie Neyland, Small Business Content Developer at

All entrepreneurs crave publicity, yet very few know how to get it—to many the world of reporters, media releases, television appearances and general hype can often seem like a bit of a mystery. Paid advertising is the most costly marketing channel you can choose, and while it may well prove to be very effective, chances are your biz doesn’t have the kind of money required to secure regular radio ads and television sports. So what’s an entrepreneur to do?

Easy. Drum up some free publicity by creating a media profile for yourself and your company. Here are five easy strategies to make sure you get the spotlight shining on your biz.


1. Remember: the media needs you

Every day, media professionals must churn out a high volume of content to tight deadlines. If you can help to make their jobs that little bit easier, it’s very likely that you’ll be rewarded with some free publicity for your small business.


2. Piggyback on hot topics

The media won’t run a story about your upcoming shoe sale—that’s advertising, not news, so don’t waste their time. You must attach your business to some current and relevant issues that interest the media—you need to have something really interesting to say. Create an angle by attaching your business story to a trend or event, such as “Recent surge of home break-ins push security alarm sales.”


3. Write a media release

A professional, one page media release should be written like a news story that’s already ran. Editors and reporters are busy people, so the less work they must do to fix up your release the more likely it will be published. Use plenty of quotes and statistics, think something along the lines of: “Painting your house can increase its value by $10,000.” The media loves statistics, so be sure to collect numbers for them—conduct customer surveys, compile industry data, or report on buying trends. Send snippets of your data to your media contacts and offer to be interviewed.


4. Brand yourself an expert

What separates you from others? Is it your passion? Your knowledge? Tap into either and have the courage to tell the world that your knowledge is valuable as the media is always on the lookout for the opinions of ‘experts’ for news stories. Based on your business focus, identify your particular expertise or specialization and credit yourself accordingly in each media release (e.g. “knitting expert, Jane Smith”). Simply working for many years in any one profession or industry is enough to qualify you as an expert. Look within your job description for expertise and use your educational credentials to assure readers you know your stuff.


5. Follow up

News desks receive hundreds—even thousands—of media releases each day. Draw attention to your emailed or faxed media release with a simple follow up phone call, and bear in mind that it’s a good idea to be prepared with a second story angle or media release in case the media person wants to pursue a different angle or needs more information. You could even consider pursuing a particular editor or reporter; for instance, many journalists specialize in a particular “beat”, such as family, health, business, city news or politics. If your expertise is relevant to what they cover, try and approach them directly by email or phone.

By Andrew Patricio

March 07, 2014