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Expert media source: how to become one

Jeff Borden

It’s no secret the news media are in turmoil. Newspapers and magazines, large and small, are looking for ways to cut costs, which frequently translates into staff reductions. It’s not much better on the broadcasting side. Budgets are tight there too, and everyone is trying to do more with less. These conditions will only worsen in the near term with a shaky economy bordering on recession.

This creates opportunities for marketing executives shrewd enough to seize them. The reduction in newsroom resources has everyone scrambling even more for good, quotable sources who can bring a level of expertise to their stories. That’s where you come in.

With a number of former journalists working here, we know firsthand that reporters, editors and producers are like anyone else in a hurry. They gravitate to those who can help solve a problem. If you can offer yourself as an expert on a story, whether a large national event or a local issue, you position yourself as a thought leader and, quite possibly, gain a coveted spot in a news person’s Rolodex.

You can do this yourself, of course, but we’ve found that most executives don’t have the time to do this “reporter relationship building” very effectively. We help our clients establish and cultivate these relationships by monitoring the publications in which they would like to appear and advising them on how to connect appropriately.

Once a connection is made, it can be very rewarding, especially if you get a reputation for saying things that are smart and pithy. Ever notice how certain experts are quoted frequently in news reports? News people aren’t dumb. They go back to the sources who have helped them in the past. Connect with a news organization in a positive way and you can join their ranks – and boost your company’s profile along the way.

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January 29, 2008 at 4:06 pm 2 comments


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