You get a call or an email from a member of the media and she wants to cover your business for an upcoming story. It’s not a negative story or an investigative piece. What do you do? I’ll tell you what you don’t do – not call or email her back. Unfortunately, this happens all too often.
In addition to my consulting work, I freelance for a number of media outlets whose editors assign me articles to write on various topics: store or company executive profile pieces, marketing tips, eco-friendly ideas, you name it. I’ve even written about a cryogenics company in Canada. In each case, when I need a source or am writing about a company, I call or email and introduce myself and why I’m reaching out to them. Not always, but most of the time, this is what I hear on the other end: silence. Or, “um”.
Maybe it’s because I also handle public relations for clients that I don’t ever utter the words “um” or stay silent but it still baffles me that some people do not either understand the value of media attention or don’t want it.
Last week I was assigned an article by a trade magazine editor to write a profile piece on a shop on the east coast. She asked me what I thought of the shop so I researched it and thought it would make for a good story (she was open to my suggestions, too, but since she found this one, I thought I’d go with it). I called up the owner of the shop and told her what I was doing, told her I’d written for this magazine many times before and even have a piece in the current issue of the magazine. Response? Um.
I get it, sometimes we’re contacted at times we’re not ready or haven’t had time to process the request. So I offered to email her the details and asked for a response within the next couple of days. Guess what? No response. Sigh.
This isn’t a unique circumstance, unfortunately. Securing media coverage is not easy so it’s always exciting for me when we land something for a client. Perhaps this is why it’s so frustrating to see great, small businesses lose out on opportunities to get their business more visibility via media attention.
So, for now, I’m on the hunt for another local and independent retailer that fits my store profile criteria and I will find it because there are some really awesome shops out there to feature. It just won’t be this cute shop on the east coast because its silence is deafening.
Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm that specializes in working with both for profit and not-for-profit organizations. This post is part of her weekly Marketing Monday tips. She often writes for national and local consumer and B2B magazines and is always on the hunt for good stories. See her latest writing work here.