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If you combine media outlets who are on a constant search for new content, trying to do more news with less budget and staff, with the availability of social media and social networking tools, you’ve got an equation that’s tailor-made to help your horsebiz get some publicity. But sometimes you gotta start small to get there.
When it comes to media coverage, don’t be afraid to work your way up. Many media outlets monitor the competition to see what they’re reporting on, and are now often using social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote interaction with their audiences, plus using social media such as YouTube videos or Flickr images to illustrate news stories.
How can you leverage this trend for your own horsebiz? By paying attention to local media such as TV and radio shows, daily or weekly newspapers, and local monthly or quarterly magazines.
Watch how they reference social media items, stories found in other media, or online videos; they’re all looking for news stories, and larger media often look at news that’s coming up on the local level, then take it up to a national scale.
For example: A recent segment on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams featured an Arizona equine rescue that saves horses abandoned by drug runners crossing the U.S./Mexican border as one of their Making a Difference features; while the rescue organization was the focus, it’s part of a larger national story about the drug trade and so made the ‘big’ media.
Are you ready to start ‘fishing’ for media coverage? Here’s how:
- Start small: Use smaller media outlets to practice your skills, such as staying ‘on point’ when being interviewed, working successfully with editors, and building your library of high-resolution images. Learn how to make a case to mainstream media about how and why their audiences would be interested in ‘horsey’ stuff.
- Build your media connections: If you’ve been a good resource for an editor, producer, or reporter, ask if they have suggestions for ways you can connect with other media folk such as journalists, editors, or bloggers.
- Watch how the media are inter-connected and when ‘crossovers’ happen: Brian Williams from the Nightly News was recently on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and he’s hosted Saturday Night Live a number of times – all of those shows are on NBC. No surprise there…NBC wants you to watch other shows on their own network, and doing these types of crossovers exposes you to their other offerings. ESPN is another franchise that does crossovers well.
‘Buzz’ often starts small, then spreads as people start talking. No one can predict when or how a topic or idea will go ‘viral’ and spread, but you can improve your chances by being strategic, starting small, and looking for opportunities to go big. Who knows, you might get on a local TV or radio show someday which then gets noticed by an editor as a ‘trend’ so you get interviewed for a national magazine. It happens.
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