Generating Publicity For Your Business:
Knowing Your "Media Market"  Is Critical
by Todd Brabender

When starting a successful business venture or launching a new 
product, most entrepreneurs or business owners conduct some 
type of marketing research to determine the extent of their 
prospective customer base. And when getting the word out to 
that customer base, many entrepreneurs may turn to the media 
to help generate a buzz for them. However, as detailed as their 
marketing research might have been, very few business owners are 
as meticulous at determining their proper "media market"  that 
is, all those media outlets whose editorial profiles are a match 
to a product/business profile and would be appropriate for 
generating media exposure and publicity.

One of my favorite things to do is educate my clients about 
their "media market." Consider this, in North America there are 
more than 75,000 media outlets and almost one million reporters, 
editors & producers in the entire media market. However, only a 
small percentage of those may be appropriate and applicable to 
your business/product. But which ones? Unfortunately, too many 
well-intentioned entrepreneurs are either uninformed or 
misinformed regarding what it takes to attract media attention 
for their business. I recently surveyed 100 business owners and 
entrepreneurs who contacted my business about a publicity/media 
exposure campaign. Here's what I found:

11% - "Are Admittedly Media Market Clueless"
19% - "Have Unrealistic Media Market Perceptions"
29% - "Think Local & Large Media Are The ONLY Media"
41% - "Have A Good Grasp On Their Potential Media Market And Its 
       Benefits"

Here are the descriptions of these categories and the lessons I 
try to teach those who fall into each category:

11% - "Are Admittedly Media Market Clueless"
These are the business owners who know their product and market 
inside and out, BUT they have never thought about launching a 
publicity/media exposure campaign before now. They know very 
little about their potential media market or how to generate 
publicity therein.

The Lesson: For these types of business owners I recommend 
asking for help from a smaller PR agency or publicity specialist 
who is willing to "hand hold" to get the client educated. 
Research to find one who doesn't mind spending the time to 
educate you about what should be included in your specific 
media market and the pitch. Make sure the agency or publicist 
understands the product/business as well as you do and can in 
turn educate you about your media market  one that will be able 
to benefit your business for years to come.

--

19% - "Have Unrealistic Media Perceptions"
These are the business owners who are CONVINCED that EVERY 
newspaper, consumer interest magazine and TV show will run a 
feature on their new products when they launch a publicity 
campaign.

The Lesson: No product or business, no matter how big or great 
can be assured media coverage in every outlet in a media market. 
But you can get coverage in a good number of them given the 
right media tending. Every media pitch will be weighed against 
the media outlet's editorial lead-time, its available editorial 
space, and availability of an editorial staff member to cover 
your pitch. It is totally up to the discretion of each media 
outlet as to whether your pitch makes it to the pages or on air. 
It can be an uphill battle if you target the wrong media with 
the wrong message. But you can greatly increase the chances of
generating those media placements with a little expertise and 
media market know-how. 

--

29% - "Think Local & Large Media Are The ONLY Media"
These are the ones who think of their media market in two simple 
terms: LOCAL & LARGE.

LOCAL, as you might imagine, means the media outlets in their 
city or surrounding geographic region -- the local newspaper, a 
regional business magazine or two, a few shows at local radio/TV 
stations. LARGE, on the other hand, are media outlets like The 
Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Good Morning America, Oprah or 
your other favorite large circulation, trade specific media 
outlet.

The Lesson: The reality is local and large are indeed part of 
your media market, but not the only ones. The best media market 
opportunities may well be the dozens of other smaller scale 
papers, magazines, newsletters or TV/radio/cable shows that may 
generate more customer interest and sales than a placement in 
the big media might. Because of a lack of media market knowledge, 
many business owners don't even know these smaller, more targeted 
media outlets exist. This is where a PR agency or publicity 
specialist can be integral in your publicity campaign. They know 
the media market very well and will be able to find those media 
members who will be the best for generating editorial features 
on your business or product. They also have great media contacts 
that can turn one feature into a syndicated story that runs in 
multiple media outlets nationwide.

--

41% - "Have A Good Grasp On Their Potential Media Market And Its 
       Benefits"
These are media-savvy entrepreneurs and business owners who are 
realistic and knowledgeable about how the media can benefit 
their business. They know that they have to narrowcast their 
media pitch to a select segment of the media in order to get 
coverage that will increase exposure for the business.

The Lesson: Don't let a PR agency or publicity specialist tell
you they will send your pitch to 20,000, 30,000 or 50,000 media 
outlets. The reality is, of the 8,000 daily & weekly newspapers, 
11,000 magazines & newsletters, 15,000 radio/TV/cable stations 
and 7,000 Internet news sites in North America, only about 25% 
of those accept press releases from outside their geographic 
area. They cover only LOCAL issues, businesses and products, and 
it is a waste of time to target them. The key is researching to 
discover which media outlets will be receptive to your pitch and 
knowing how to parlay those media contacts into positive consumer 
interest features that will educate and entice customers about 
your product or business.

Just like marketing to find the right customers, one should be 
equally diligent about finding and pitching the right media 
market. Bottom line  whether you have a general interest 
product that has widespread consumer appeal or a trade specific 
business with a very narrow customer base, knowing your 
appropriate media market can mean the difference between 
product/business publicity or product/business obscurity.


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Todd Brabender is the President of Spread The News Public 
Relations, Inc. His business specializes in generating media 
exposure and publicity for innovative products, businesses, 
experts and inventions. http://www.spreadthenewspr.com
todd@spreadthenewspr.com (785) 842-8909
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