In our book, How to get quoted in the media, my co-author Christelle Du Toit and I talk about the value of media coverage for your small business. There are many benefits - raising your company's profile, making people aware of a product etc- but the one we like best is that it can make you money.
In view of that strong assertation, I thought it would be fair to do a post-moterm of yesterday's interview on 5fm's Mind your business. Are we all talk or do we live the talk? Keep in mind that this media appearance was little more than a ONE MINUTE pitch on a segment of a very popular radio programme, no more.
1. Time and resources to land the interview - We initially contacted the station asking for an interview when we launched the book some months back. So while we did invest effort then, this interview was the realisation of our investment long after we'd thought they'd rejected us.
Lesson: Just because the media says "no" now doesn't mean they mean "no forever." So don't give up and always be prepared to respond to unexpected queries.
2. Preparation - Christelle spent time preparing for the interview. She also ran her pitch by me, and we timed it to make sure that she said all we needed to say in that one minute. I didn't realise a minute could be so short!
Lesson: Even if you do know your company and product, prepare again. Make sure that you have enough information to fit the time allocated. Do a dry run with a colleague or friend if you have to.
3. The interview - It went well, thank you Christelle. This is one of the things I love about having a collaborator: having someone skilled who can represent me or my product without stress.
4. The return on investment - So what did we get out of the interview?
a. A chance to tell small business owners who listen to Mind your business about our book. As previously stated, the ebook is aimed at non-profit organisations and small business owners, so the target market was spot on. As to what that awareness will mean in the long run, time will tell.
b. Sales enquiries - we had a couple. Christelle fielded calls and I sent emails to people she spoke to. We were not inundated though - we wish!
c. Actual sales - yes, we sold a couple of books online. Not bestseller sales, but come on, this is a new title by unknown authors, published by a new digital publisher! I always feel it's a miracle people are willing to part with their money to read what I have to say:-)
d. Business enquiries - We have a meeting set up with one potential client who wants to talk to us about media relations for his chain of guest houses. The meeting could lead to a solid business deal, or not, depending on whether he sees value in what we offer. But that meeting is more than we had before Christelle did the one minute interview. And it's a qualified lead; someone who identified a need, not someone who's still unsure about whether media coverage can help his business or not.
e. Material for our social media activities- It's a gift that keeps on giving, isn't? Because however the interview went, we can use it as a case study to promote the book and for others to learn from our experiences.
In conclusion, not all your media interactions will come out as well as this one has: it can go badly if the journalist doesn't like your company/product/you/has a negative story about your company/industry. It could be a neutral story that doesn't resonate with people, with the result that no one response and you have no tangible result to show for your time and investment. BUT, if you choose your media carefully, make sure you speak to your target market and prepare thoroughly, your interview could score you a decent audience response, maybe even a few sales.