Friday, February 18, 2005
Interviews: Success is only a few words away
You want more visitor traffic, as potential customers and clients, or even simply as readers for your thoughts and ideas, but you’ve found that you’ve tried all of the usual avenues.
Perhaps you should consider talking people into surfing over to your site. All you have to do is get yourself interviewed, as an expert in your field.
Interviews provide widespread exposure for you and your website. When you are interviewed as an authority in your area of business, you gain status and credibility, that literally cannot be bought for any price.
The endorsement, provided by the interviewing medium, can propel you and your website to the top of your business sector. It is certain to be one of the best investments, of your time and energy, that you can ever make.
The opportunities to give interviews are limited only by your imagination. Chances to talk about your area of interest include all forms of the media including television, radio, newspapers, and trade magazine articles.
Don’t forget that expert interviews are highly sought after as internet articles and website content, and for the growing phenomenon of blogs. Recently, there has been a huge increase in the number of blogger to blogger interviews.
I have participated in several blogger interviews myself.
The first step is to think like an editor. You want to provide information suited the media outlet’s target readership market. That is what the editor demands and will expect from you.
It’s up to you to make that information available, with yourself as the knowledge source. All you have to do is get your story into the editor’s hands.
Using the proper tools for the job
Your online business has a newsworthy story. It may not be immediately recognizable, but there is news within your business. Because your business activities have news value, you need to get your story out there to be written. The standard means is by way of a written press release.
Keep in mind that your blog is also a press release and public relations vehicle. Many journalists read blogs on a regular basis, searching for story ideas. Always be prepared for a reporter to contact you. Keep your contact information handy on your blog, for just that purpose.
Your first step is to find a newsworthy story. In the news business, that is referred to as the “angle”. To find a news angle, many people suggest thinking like a journalist. An even better idea is to think like an editor.
The publication editor will always want to know the news value of the story and its angle. It’s up to you to provide it for them. Send them a press release.
Make certain that the interview topic is of interest to their target audience. If your discussion will be only about how wonderful your products and services are, they will see you as trying to gain a free advertisement, and reject you.
Instead, offer useful information about use of the products, some industry news, and some thoughtful business insights.
Be sure to stress your availability to be interviewed on the subject. Make certain that your release contains all of your online and offline contact information.
Always remember to make yourself available. The media have strict deadline times and you must adhere to them. If they can’t reach you for comment, they’ll talk to someone else.
Getting to the decision makers
Send your press release to the online and traditional offline media who cover news stories in your industry. If the news angle you have chosen has wider appeal, feel free to send it to other media who cover that news area. Avoid sending your release to media who would have no interest in your story.
While everyone imagines their story in the big city daily newspapers or on national television, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t overlook small weekly newspapers, locally produced television and radio shows, and blogs.
Their market is local, and their readers and electronic audiences are your potential customers. Often pressed for time and staff resources, yet with air time and print space to fill, they may contact you immediately to be interviewed
Many trade and industry publications, both online and offline, publish news stories in your industry and value interviews with industry leaders like yourself. These highly specialized and targeted publications are widely read by those people in your business area.
By sending out targeted press releases, to online and offline media outlets who cover your industry, you can receive valuable free publicity. By being the focus of an interview about business in general, and your business area in particular, you and your company gain immediate stature as leaders in the field.
By forming and maintaining available, reliable, and honest media contacts, you can also be interviewed and quoted as an industry expert in other news stories.
Bloggers will often gladly interview business and community leaders who are involved with their blogging area of interest.
Whatever you do, and wherever you have an interview, don’t use the time for blatant self promotion. Think of the audience first, and you will become a sought after business spokesperson.
Not bad for getting noticed as a blogger!
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