Q I design and sell inspirational jewelry for mothers and women battling weight loss, infertility and cancer on my website. I have gotten a story in my local paper, but how do I get exposure from the national media?
A You are already taking first steps, by reaching out in a way that meets the needs of the editors and readers of the publication. As you may already be doing, continuing your publicity success requires making a "wish list" -- targeted media (regionally or nationally, online or traditional) in which you hope to generate coverage.
With that list in hand, you must get to know the publication well and the types of stories covered -- plus, how those stories are told. Once you understand each publication, the real work begins in considering how your story fits or how to generate stories that will fit. Depending on your professional experience, if you really need national exposure in mainstream media, this may be the time to engage someone who does media relations for a living. You need someone who can see the angles on a story that make the story valuable to select publications.
From a Web 2.0 perspective, you should be monitoring your key topics on blogs, online communities and Twitter. In the same way you look at media, you can consider how you can appropriately engage in the conversations that could get the thought leaders in these spaces talking about your story. These groups are likely to have a direct emotional connection to your offerings and be a more direct link to growing your business ... a story in itself, which might entice traditional media some day.
MICHAEL C. PORTER, DIRECTOR, MASTER OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION PROGRAM AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
OPUS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS