Becoming a media authority allows you to quickly gain more trust from your customers and prospects, establish respect amongst your peers and attract more online and offline referrals. Here are some simple Do’s and Don’ts to get you started.
- HARO – Help a Reporter Out could be the easiest way to connect with the media in your area. This account posts “want ads” for experts on various topics. If you fit their requirement, shoot an email and see if you can add your two cents to a story.
- Social Media – Journalists use social media accounts to get story ideas, interview leads and connect with their audience. If you want to know what they’re working on, you need to be there, too. Be sure to follow the Facebook and Twitter accounts of local news outlets (newspapers, magazines, tv stations), and check them regularly for prompts you can relate to. Offer your expertise if something resonates.
- Build relationships with media professionals – This one’s a little more difficult, but you can call or email a journalist to follow up on a recent story, and offer your expertise for the next time they do one on that topic. Be confident in what you bring to the table, and have proof to assure reporters you know what you’re talking about.
- Expand your reach – Look for complimentary story topics. For example, as a real estate agent, you may be able to be part of stories on interior design or neighborhood parties, in addition to home prices and sale figures.
- Be patient – Reporters are busy, and may go with the first source they find. If you reach out and don’t hear anything back, it could be a simple oversight. Don’t be discouraged, and keep your eyes open for the next opportunity.
- Send meaningless emails or too many ideas – If your area of expertise doesn’t come around in the news cycle very often, resist the urge to jump on any story you may be connected to. Be aware of how often you reach out, and take cues from the reporter you’re contacting. This is a situation where less is often more.
- Act entitled- Few things will send a reporter running away from you as a source than your own ego. If you act like they’re lucky to be in your presence, you likely won’t get a call next time the topic comes up.
Harnessing the favorable publicity you will gain through these tips can drive your real estate business to new heights and allow you to reach a much wider, more engaged audience than ever before.
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