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
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.