This is a guest post by award winning and Emmy-nominated TV journalist Dwann Holmes Olsen. One short year after coming off the air to focus Media & Marketing for Non-Profits and SMBs, Dwann was named (1) of 30 Future Leaders of America by Ebony Magazine. With a long history of success, Dwann now helps ministries and business owners with marketing and media relations.
Years ago when I first started off in business on my own, it seemed like I was featured in the media all the time! Every where you looked, there was my head-shot with a different story.
Once the first article came out, I noticed something. More and more reporters started calling and with every new article, there seemed to be a new burst of energy from within and even on the outside.
No, the phones didn’t start ringing off the hook, but there was some clear indication that overall interest and website traffic spiked every time my company was featured in the media. Then next thing you know, one article led to another, to another …all without me having to spend a dime on lofty magazine ads, although I always made sure to have some sort of affordable media presence in my community so that by the time the articles and coverage started flowing, my brand was somewhat recognizable.
Then years later as I began to study what kind of stories seemed to draw the most attention, it was quite obvious.
HONORS & AWARDS!
Anytime you can win some sort of award, trust me, the buzz about your business will keep building.
For instance, when I was named one of Ebony Magazine’s TOP 30 FUTURE LEADERS of America, it seemed like everyone I knew was just as excited as I was. Not only did my local paper do a blurb on it but my hometown I grew up did one, so did my birth city. But that wasn’t it. My Pastor announced it from the pulpit, the Chancellor of the University I graduated from sent me a letter and the college paper announced it as well. It was like INSTANTLY, my credibility was being leveraged, in ways I never imagined. All because I had a goal of wanting to be featured and I had a magnificent producer who worked to make sure my “entry” packet was stellar.
So, today I want to encourage you to set your sights high and GO FOR IT!
No matter what industry you are a part of know that there is always some sort of award, honor or competition you can strive for that could potentially net you spectacular complimentary press from all kinds of media outlets. (TV, print, radio etc…) (Tip: Use AwardSync to find awards by topic, region, role and more)
Just follow these simple steps to get started.
- Get Research: Take your time and find out about the prestigious local and national industry awards that you or your business may qualify to compete in.
- Get connected: Do your best to join at least (1) local and (1) national industry specific trade organization that will help keep you in the loop regarding competitions
- Get Busy: Once you’ve done the research and gotten connected it’s time to GET BUSY and start apply for competitions. Since there is normally a cost associated with the application I recommend doing this on a quarterly basis and budgeting a certain amount of your funds for competitions.
- Get Coverage: Once you start winning or even placing in the TOP 5, it’s time to GET COVERAGE by creating and distributing professional press releases regarding your recent honors.
There’s NOTHING like being honored by a group of peers, especially those who are clearly at the top of their game in your industry.
Unfortunately, many solo-preneurs seem to forget or don’t seem to realize that good news surrounding winning a local, national or even international award is definitely worthy of announcing.
Meaning, it really is okay to brag on yourself when you are singled out for a stellar contribution. What’s even better is that the news media are the ones reporting on you, which in turn helps add a little bit of influence and integrity to your brand.
The great thing is that after you win, you are then able to create a press release that any local news outlet would want to highlight, especially if it looks like you’re a local SUPERSTAR right in the midst of your community.
That’s when you have to be prepared to Tell Your Story Like a Pro!
Is media a part of your marketing strategy? If not, why haven’t you leveraged this tool yet?
About Dwann Holmes Olsen
Dwann Holmes Olsen helps small to medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs and ministries with their media and marketing strategies through coaching, consulting and producing. You can learn more about her signature media coaching program for business owners at Tell Your Story Like a Pro .