Nearly everyone’s a media star today — or at least it appears that way. Thanks to the Internet, cable television, podcasts, and satellite radio, more and more of us have the ability to reach out to the rest of the world. But is the rest of the world reaching back?
Why is it that some insurance and financial professionals regularly appear in the press while other, equally knowledgeable pros toil away in relative obscurity? Probably because the ones that are out there have a plan and a consultant who regularly puts them in touch with the right media.
Let’s meet the press
How can you get the media to call your office? Like a lot of things, this is easier said than done. Don’t be like the prospect who turns down professional insurance or financial advice, opting to go it alone and/or do it themselves — to get some bang out of your media-relations buck, it generally pays to hire a professional.
One of the best things we can do to drum up business is to regularly work through lunch. During this time when prospects and business associates are usually unavailable, call or email local business reporters and editors. This is a great and simple way to begin promoting yourself to the media, and is easier to do than it looks.
Reporters regularly need fresh information sources. They often want to speak with knowledgeable people in their publication’s geographic coverage area but do not want to quote the same individuals in each story they file. Most general-interest reporters, the kind working at your local newspaper, are usually not trained in insurance or financial services. This requires them to find reliable sources to help them quickly climb the learning curve.
“We’re in a growing rural community,” says Mark Hall, principal of Market Street Advisors in Smithfield, NC, an independent insurance and financial advisory firm.
“We have a lot of competition from banks and wirehouses. We use media relations to position ourselves as authorities with the local media.”
Hall’s office began using a media relations professional about two years ago. And while no scientific surveys have been taken, he admits their presence has grown among retail clients and competitors.