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Working Effectively with the Media

by Valerie Camarda
of Marketing Sense

What course of action are you planning to take to promote your company? If business has slowed a bit and your marketing budget has been drastically cut ask yourself this question: What's twice as credible as advertising, yet costs a fraction of advertising fees? Answer: Publicity, of course.

That's why, in a world littered with print ads, billboards, commercials, Web banners and junk mail, everyone from tiny start-ups to giant corporations are pumping out press releases and trying to capture the attention of the media.

Creating a buzz can be the most effective and least expensive way for an organization to create a favorable public image, showcase the company's abilities and achievements and generate sales.

Editors readily admit that most of what you read in newspapers or see on the air comes about as a result of information provided by outside sources. Some experts estimate that 70% of all news is "planted" or originates from news releases. But to be a credible news release worthy of media attention, the information within must be news—not history and not puffery.

Understanding What's Newsworthy

What Exactly is Publicity?

Any information or action that brings a person, service or cause to public notice is publicity. Special events are a means to publicity, not publicity itself.

When You Prepare and Send Out Press Releases

When the Media Calls You

What Does a Television Reporter Look For in an Interview?

You may not realize it, but television and radio reporters need you as much as you need them! When important news is breaking, reporters quickly look for experts who can put that news into proper context.

When You're Being Interviewed for TV

Great! You've landed a spot on a TV interview show. Whether you're talking to Oprah or a commentator in Iowa City, these tips will help you tell your story in a winning way:

Remember, when dealing with the media, always think long-range and try to build continuing relationships. The media gravitates toward sources who are reliable, quick-thinking and able to simplify complicated issues. Reporters prefer to go to dependable sources. Frequently, the fastest and easiest thing to do is contact authoritative business people who have been quoted before.

Valerie Camarda is the owner of Marketing Sense, a full service marketing and public relations firm located in San Francisco and Emeryville. She is currently a member of the NAWBO Board of Directors and holds the position of VP Marketing for the organization.