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Top tips for building a sustainable media profile

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My uncle Ralph used to tell me, “You’re like a scarecrow. Outstanding in your field!” It’s a dad joke, but everyone really is good at something. Especially in a business context, we have expertise that can be invaluable to others. In these days of citizen journalism, we can all gain a degree of media recognition.  

Finding your unique voice

Building a media profile starts with finding your voice. Am I formal or flippant, analytical or animated? Who are my target audiences and what do I want to achieve?  Think about yourself: do you want to entertain, inspire or question the status quo? 

Your media presence doesn’t have to be the whole you; this is a great opportunity to choose your specialist subject and create a narrative. Having an opinion is important – as the saying goes, if you sit on the fence you get one thing – splinters! Take all the fun out of it and get organised. “To get started, write one true sentence,” is attributed to Ernest Hemingway. Capture your thoughts, build them into collections and borrow from others.

Build a plan

Set a plan to write something every week, or a given number of pieces a month. Write then write some more and the fun will transform into satisfaction as you recognise on the page what you had in the back of your mind. Getting feedback from valued others is a matter of personal choice.

Establish a Social Media presence

Now that you have an identity, perhaps even a business card and an amazing profile on the professional version of Facebook called LinkedIn, go to events where the media are. Network with people in the same area of expertise. Follow their blogs, connect on LinkedIn and constantly review which tags are most successful in searches. This may bring you into contact with the professionals; remember, journalists are still out there and you want to get to know them. Or even better, let them get to know you. The obvious place to raise your profile in a way media will see you is to publish a blog – it’s free! Promoting your URL on a bit.ly link through social media is a no-brainer (ideal for tweets) and will provide you with feedback, hopefully of the constructive kind. Podcasts are easy to create and host online if you have a great face for radio and the visually gifted might prefer video clips – create your own channel on YouTube if you wish! The opportunities in today’s digital world are limitless!

Hot Tip: Don’t befriend journos on Facebook, as that’s for friends. Read their work, understand their beat and start to contribute on their favourite hashtags. Have a chat, but don’t insist or risk becoming spam – it’s about building a relationship.

In general

Write media releases on current topics and make your work easy to find, in a professional way.  Respond to questions and criticisms. The media are always hungry for content and if they like your work, you may find yourself standing alongside recognised media figures in your field.

 

Written by Lisa Burling of LBPR

LBPR is an award-winning PR, media and events consultancy that partners with individuals, charities and businesses to help them tell their story in a compelling way. Visit www.lbpr.com.au for more information.

 

 

This article has been written by an independent author.  Any views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of IMB.

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