4 Tips for Working With Print Media

by Patricia Olsen on February 16, 2011
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Despite what you may hear about content moving to the web, don’t sound the death knell for newspapers and magazines yet. In fact, in many areas print continues to boom, and for a small business, a mention in a top publication can mean a big bump in sales.

Getting into one of these publications isn’t quite so simple, though, and it means doing your homework and being prepared. Here are four tips for landing a print media mention.

1) Know the market you’re pitching. Nine out of ten times (or more), the publication is not going to print anything about your company. You can improve the odds by understanding in depth the publication you’re pitching, the staff there, and the audience they serve. Pitch with specific sections and tailor your message appropriately.

2) Be interesting. “Heck,” you say. “I’m interesting.” Maybe, maybe not.  Ask a colleague to shoot some interview questions at you and give you an honest assessment. Hire a media coach if necessary, as they can prepare you for print media interviews as well as TV.

3) Be ready to hear the same question more than once in succeeding interviews. I once interviewed Tony Hawk, the skateboarder with the million dollar company, who said that this happened to him all the time. His advice was to vary your answer every time you say it, even if you change only a few words.

4) Understand that you will undoubtedly not be able to see the article before it appears (unless, maybe, you’re taking out an ad in a trade pub). If you’re interviewed for a first-person profile, some publications will provide a draft for fact-checking as a courtesy so you can check it over. If you’re interviewed for a feature article, most publications will read back the quotes they’ve selected from your conversation with the writer. Ask for a fact check session if you’re concerned, but don’t be surprised (or alarmed) if the answer is no.

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