Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 11

You can be a STAR!

Why do some companies get lots of publicity, while others (yours for instance?) don’t? It is often because the companies receiving attention have made it a goal to have one of their executives placed in the spotlight as an industry “expert.”

The company’s most knowledgeable person does not always become the industry expert, but rather the person who cultivates that reputation. Companies looking to gain publicity should identify one person to be not only their spokesperson, but also their resident industry “expert.”

The first step is to identify the new expert. Find a person who speaks well in public, keeps things simple, and looks authoritative. Don’t make the mistake of choosing the most knowledgeable person if he or she can’t talk well, or choosing an extremely extroverted person who lacks the ability to answer a question. Most companies will need to compromise in order to select the ideal person.

Second, make a list of the most important topics in your industry. Your expert must keep up to date on each of them by spending the required time and effort to research news and trends. There is nothing worse than having your expert appear to be behind the curve.

Then, let your targeted media know that he or she is available for comment on the hot industry topics. The media should be provided with a biography listing the expert’s significant achievements and other pertinent background information, so that journalists feel comfortable choosing this person to interview.

Make your expert as accessible as possible. When news stories break that concern one of the topic areas, contact the appropriate journalists and editors -via phone, email or fax - and offer your expert. But be sure the expert is available – the worst thing companies can do is to distract journalists when they’re on deadline.

Constantly research and identify speaking opportunities. The more often an expert gets in front of peers and media, the greater his or her reputation becomes. And the more press they get, the more additional press they generate – as mention in one article places your expert on the media radar screen for the next opportunity.

This brings media relationships to a new level. Instead of calling reporters when you have a story to pitch, you may want to give them a call when you hear about something happening on their particular beat or in their particular market. Make it a two-way street, and you may end up ahead of the curve.