The media is dying of starvation. They have an endless appetite for quality information to share with their viewers, readers, and listeners. So why do so many managed service providers fail to recognize that journalists need regular feeding to keep them on a healthy diet of information and news—and that feeding them story ideas can pay off in a big way?
The answer is simple. Instead of doing the hard work it takes to pitch story ideas and become a source for local and industry media, many managed service providers would rather take the easy route by outsourcing to a telemarketing agency or buying the latest email marketing scheme that promises to fill their pipeline with endless opportunity.
IT Matters, the MSP I started in Calgary with Tony Mah and Rob Hay, knew and appreciated the hard work it took to get in front of the media and have the media share our story. I also had a great teacher in Shawne Duperon, a six-time Emmy winner who took me under her wing to show me the way.
The media can be an awesome way for your managed services business to get in front of your perfect target market. Here are some basic tips to get you started. (You can also tune into our webinar on August 19 to get all my key pointers for maximizing your exposure with the media.)
Develop a list of go-to media contacts
Create a list of the journalists, reporters, and freelancers who cover your city, neighborhood, county, state, industry, technology, etc. Store this list in your Microsoft Outlook as a distribution list that you can easily send new story ideas and news to.
Pitch meaningful story ideas
Think about what the media actually cares about. They don’t care about your office move, new techs, or that you’re attending a conference, so don’t waste their time sending press releases about these things. What the media cares about are stories that their viewers, readers, or listeners will care about, such as Windows 10 tips and tricks, security threats, or online services that make their lives easier.
Send pitches early
Pitch to the media before 8 a.m. every morning so writers will see your pitch while they’re still planning their stories for the day. There is always something happening with technology or the market. Figure out what it is, and then put your spin on it and send your pitch to the list of media contacts you created.
When the media calls you, make yourself available. Cancel everything else, and take care of the media. You will only get one shot, so don’t screw it up! Say no to them, and they will never call you again.
Say thank you
When a writer publishes a story about you, remember to say thank you. As with anyone in life, if you don’t say thank you, they’re less likely to do something for you again. Send them a thank you gift or at least a thank you card.
These are just some basic pointers to get you started using the media to help spread the word about your managed services business. It’s hard work, and it takes a consistent effort. David Boushy, a reporter with Global TV in Calgary, once told me, “I may not respond every day, but I read your pitches every day.”
Watch our webinar, Want Free Advertising for Your Managed Services Business?, and get the in-depth information you need to get your MSP media marketing kicked into high gear.