Jump on board the Media Train!

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Take a look at the article on Iliwa Laphakade, a non-profit organization based in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. It appeared a while back in Sawubona magazine, the SAA inflight magazine given to travelers on any SAA flight.

What do you think an article like this is worth to a small business? R5000? R10 000? The answer is a staggering R72 000! This is what it costs to buy a two-page advert in a publication like Sawubona.

After this article appeared, Illiwa were approached and supported by two new funders, and landed a lucrative long-term sewing contract. This one example demonstrates the huge value of media coverage for any small business, and is the reason we at The Catalyst place so much emphasis on this area of marketing and promotions.

Please read on and learn more about how you too can utilize the media to grow your business, strengthen your brand and increase sales. In other words, Jump on board the media train!

MEDIA SECRETS
Below are Four Media Secrets you might not know:

MEDIA SECRET # 1: THE MEDIA NEEDS YOU!
The various media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, internet) need a constant supply of interesting content to keep their readers, listeners or viewers happy. They also need to strike a balance between hard news, and what is known as editorial content – special interest stories, feel good articles, profiles of people and projects making a difference, design innovations, entrepreneur success and so on.

This means that editors and content managers are always on the lookout for good editorial stories. They need this content to fill their publications, attract new readers/listeners and create a healthy balance between advertisements, hard news and editorial articles. They need you!!!

MEDIA SECRET # 2: PRINT MEDIA = QUICK WINS!
Many of us would love to get exposure in the media, but do not know where to start, so here is another secret – your best chance of quick media exposure is generally in the print media (newspapers and magazines). Print media (and especially newspapers) need a constant flow of content as they are published so regularly – either weekly or daily in most cases. That’s a lot of pages to fill.

An ideal place to start is by approaching your local community or regional newspaper – they are always on the lookout for content that is related to people, projects, businesses or initiatives in their area.

MEDIA SECRET # 3: BE BOLD!
You know the saying “Fortune favors the brave?” Those companies who are the most successful when it comes to regular media exposure are the ones who make a habit of constantly approaching the media with interesting stories and ideas. This practice ensures not only that they get regular coverage, but also that relationships with editors and journalists are developed, leading to ongoing support and a general receptiveness to new story proposals.

Fear not – you need not be a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer to get a story about your organization published. Most media publications (even the smallest community newspapers) have in-house journalists who they will send in response to an interesting story idea or proposal. All you need to do is generate their interest in the first place by offering them a story that is likely to be of interest to their readers – so pick up that phone or fire off that email!

MEDIA SECRET # 4: SUCCESS BEGETS SUCCESS
Once you start receiving fairly regular exposure in the media, you will find that journalists start to contact YOU in order to write a feature about your business or schedule an interview. As an example, the article above about Iliwa in Sawubona magazine also led to several foreign and local journalists being intrigued enough to contact Iliwa to do their own feature on the organization.

It is important to make your media successes visible – if you have a website, keep it updated with any newsworthy or interesting items, articles, awards & accolades or momentous events.

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In future instalments, we examine the different types of media in a bit more detail. Watch this space!

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