How Startups Can Take Advantage of Media Coverage: An Interview with James Mahon

Working with and maximizing media coverage can go a long way to shaping how others perceive your company or brand.

With over 500 TV stations in the US and even more radio stations, striking a partnership with a broadcast content provider can get you exposure to other entrepreneurs and future clients and customers.

Award-winning CBS affiliate reporter and TV host James Mahon has these tips for exposing your brand and company to media outlets and explains how digital journalism and online marketing can go hand in hand.

James Mahon Media

James Mahon

TV, Radio, Online, or Social Media?

If you provide something unique like a company or have an idea that you want to create dialogue and discussion about, reaching out to a local TV station in the form of a lifestyle segment or a morning show could prove pivotal. A guest slot will allow viewers to put a face and a voice to you as an entrepreneur and the potential exposure from it can have great results for your organization. Keeping your points short, being direct and polite, and bringing a visual medium, be it YouTube clips, promo videos, or slideshows will all help. Radio especially talk radio can be useful in a different way. Radio discussion panels can pry deeper into who you are and what you do. You will more than likely have more airtime to fully explain to someone who has more knowledge of your brand and you as an entrepreneur what you do and how you do it.

Online blogs and publications, combined with social media, can help you network and provide you with a multimedia platform to reach out to those who you may truly want to target.

Why bother with media?

Why not! We live in a news hungry, digital journalistic world. People crave media content across tablets, TVs, phones, in their cars, and in their offices and homes. The time of cross platform multimedia is truly upon us. People remember the guy from the TV, they remember the voice on the radio or the link on an online journal they saw on Twitter. The positives far outweigh the negatives. The gains include increased exposure to customers, clients, and other entrepreneurs. They allow you to build trust and support and be seen as an entrepreneur by a larger audience and by the community. To achieve this merely takes a few minutes in a radio or TV studio or via Skype, Google+, Facetime, or Viber to connect with a studio. Online publications can even do interviews over Facebook chat. Why not spread the word about who you are as a business and innovative mind?

What advice would you have for dealing with Media?

Reporters and anchors on TV and Radio usually are on a deadline. Time is crucial in interviews; you need to know what you want to say about your entrepreneurial merits and abilities, as well as your business. You need to know that the on air talent and a producer behind the camera is calling the shots. Your points should be clear and brief. You need to think about how you’re going to make your business engaging to the audience that’s watching or listening.

For online and social media you may have more time to elaborate on your points but you should reinforce them with hyperlinks and samples.

All in all, successful entrepreneurs, businesses, and brands have all worked in tandem with the media whether it be through a PR company or directly. Having media exposure could take you and your company from just being known in a small community to the homes, cars and mobile devices of hundreds of thousands of people instantly.

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is YourStory’s US Correspondent and Deputy Editor of Search Engine Journal. Murray founded The Mail in 2013, an angel-funded startup publication covering performance marketing and mobile marketing. Murray is an advisor to a number of bay area startups and has authored several books.