Use the Web to Get Media Attention
It's still winter in Vancouver, B.C. - it snowed here this week - but I'm already in summer mode, partly because I'm still unpacking my flip flops, tank tops and bikinis from a vacation to sunny Mexico earlier this month.
But it's also because magazine editors plan so far in advance; right now, they're asking me for fitness stories with a summertime twist.
Now's a good time for you to plan how you'll use the media to promote yourself and your health/fitness business during the upcoming year.
To help you get started, I offer these five tips for gaining success with the media using online resources. Everything I suggest below is totally free, and each tip takes just a few minutes at most to implement.
1. Subscribe to the HARO e-newsletter: HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. These newsletters arrive to your inbox three times a day packed with media leads from journalists who are looking for experts to quote or feature in an article, on TV, on a blog or on the radio.
Each newsletter includes a specific section for health and fitness stories, but be sure to check the other categories, as well. Fitness-related queries sometimes appear in categories such as lifestyle or travel.
2. Join Twitter: Micro-blogging using sites like Twitter helps you expand your sphere of influence as you write short updates about what you're doing.
Being on Twitter pays off. A producer for a popular cooking show in Vancouver recently contacted me through Twitter, asking if I would consider being on the show.
However, she wanted me to talk about healthy eating AND cook at the same time. I'm a bad cook, so I declined and referred her to someone else. It was an important lesson about knowing your limits even when you want the publicity.
3. Follow the Media on Twitter: Once you're on Twitter, connect with media folks there. Follow writers, producers, magazines and media outlets that interest you.
Check out who I follow to find fitness writers. And also search for media folks on Twitter through associations for journalists, such as MediaBistro, skydiver (that's HARO), WoodenHorsePub and prnewswire.
4. Share Media Hits Online: Most online magazines and newspapers now allow you to quickly and easily share links across the web.
Recycle your media promotion in social networks like Facebook by sharing links to articles you've written or that quote you. In my experience, the more you market your media hits, the more media opportunities arise.
5. Join the Active Voice Facebook Group: Speaking of Facebook, stay on top of media opportunities and learn more about how to succeed with the media by joining the Active Voice Facebook Group (find it by searching “Active Voice Writing Service” under Groups).
Post a question (I'll answer it!) and read advice from a former Shape editor, a regular contributor to Men's Fitness magazine and other fitness pros who've achieved success with publicity and fitness writing.
If You Write Articles or Want to Start ...
Check out these two resources from Active Voice:
How to Write Winning Queries
Anatomy of an Article