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Put Your Media Under the Microscope

This informal CPD article on Put Your Media Under the Microscope was provided by Brian Weatherley at B2B Media Training, an award-winning trade journalist, video presenter, business-to-business magazine editor and media trainer.

There you were all lined-up for your major media event. You’d learned your script, the powerpoint was sorted, the venue booked, and the press invites and releases were all ready to send out to your well-established circulation list. Then COVID-19 happened and you had to hit the pause button. It’s a huge disappointment. Yet could now be a good opportunity to consider how to maximize your potential coverage while you wait for the world to re-set?

Like many businesses you probably use a ‘cuttings service’ to show you where you’ve scored with a press release or an on-line news alert. It’s a logical thing to do. After all, who’s got the time to trawl through every possible media outlet to discover where you’ve been given a shout-out? It’s also a good way of tracking your press coverage, month-on-month, year-on-year. Ah, but what about those outlets where your story might have got coverage…but didn’t?

It’s very easy to keep sending press material to your ‘usual suspects’. Only the media landscape is constantly changing. While you can probably easily name those publications and journalists who follow you and your market sector closely, are they the only ones worth talking to? You might think you know your media well, but do you? What about the newcomers? The industry bloggers, pod-casters and on-line commentators who sit outside the mainstream? How many followers do they have? How influential are they? How well do you know them and, most important of all, how well do they know you? Remember, it doesn’t take long for a journalist apparently on the fringe to become a respected insider – after they’ve been ‘discovered’.

If now’s not the right time to be shouting from the rooftops, then why not use it to do some media benchmarking and ‘scoping’ – not only on your existing outlets to confirm they’re still the ones you should be talking to, but also those magazines or websites who don’t fall naturally into your keep-net.

The obvious starting point for any new hard-copy publication is to get hold of their media pack, often available as a downloadable PDF from their website. From it you’ll get an idea of their reach and influence. For digital outlets, look at their news and feature sections. What are their hot topics? How well do they tie-in with what you’re doing? For blogs and podcasts take the time to read and listen to them. Are they relevant to you and your business? If they are shouldn’t you be talking to them?

Draw-up a hit-list of previously-unconsidered outlets and contact the editors, webmeisters, bloggers and podcasters and ask them: “What are the hot topics for your readers and listeners? What news stories attract the most hits on your website, especially your on-line news pages?” And above-all-else “What sort of information could WE provide YOU that would be of value to YOUR audience?”

Scoping your media landscape might well surprise you. And when you can hit the send button once again, your next big unveil could well attract a bigger audience than you previously thought…

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from B2B Media Training, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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