Create a Journalist Listening Station
Garnering great press for your business is a powerful marketing strategy and as such, journalists should be on your radar as a target market. Now, instead of abusing them with buy (press releases) messages, how about starting by building some know, like and trust before you ever ask for the order – that’s just good marketing.
The absolute best way to do this is to become a resource to a select group of journalists that report on your industry or businesses in your community. As a resource your primary job is to help them do their job better by sending along industry information, adding to stories they write and commenting on potential resources and angles they might consider – nothing to do with selling your business or story.
If you do this I can almost guarantee you will start getting calls to provide quotes in stories as a reliable source.
Here’s how to make the job of journalist relationship building easier.
Use Google Alerts and Google Reader to track every story, blog post and mention your target list of journalists create and scan them in five minutes from one location (or, even have them sent to your email inbox as they happen in real time.)
Then you can visit your Reader page, see if anything from one of your journalists pops up and go make a relevant comment on their blog, drop an industry study in mail or suggest a follow-up angle to their story through a hand-written note. This entire process should take just minutes a day and can even be delegated once it’s up and running.
Some tech notes:
- Use quotes around full names to get best results – “bill smith”
- Check the RSS version to have it sent to Google Reader
- Google Reader
- Create a folder in Google Reader just for your PR efforts so that you can store the results of your RSS alerts in one handy place
- Get in the habit of checking and responding at least several times a week.