Be Media Ready!

As your business grows, you may at some stage get that call… the one we all want, but all secretly dread… the media call.

It happened to a friend of mine recently. Working for a reputable bank in a highly specialised position, he was contacted by a very well-known business journal asking to do a feature on him and the company.

Of course he said yes! But there was a tight timeframe… as there usually is when it comes to the media. He had to whip up a quick bio and there was no time to book in a professional photo shoot – and in this case, the publication was not bringing a photographer to him – they just wanted the information and a picture, fast.

My friend confided that he was quite embarrassed handing over the profile photo – ‘a mug shot I had taken against the office wall’ – and regretted that he hadn’t organised his PR resources earlier, to be prepared for this kind of situation. Even if you are not working in a top position in an international company, you never know when your story will become the story of interest, so it pays to be prepared. And if you are making efforts to get your story out in the form of press releases, all the more reason to be ready for that call!

Tips to be media-ready

  • Prepare a brief bio with some background on who you are, what your qualifications and major achievements are, your interests and current projects, your current position and your contact details. Think of it as a mini-resume tailored to the media – keep it brief. You may want to consider tweaking it for different publications, according to their audience’s interests. And make it stand out! I love this article on writing a kick-butt bio
  • Prepare a one-page fact sheet about your business. Include the who, when, what, where, how of your business: key products and services, branding information, such as logo, tagline, point of difference, key messages. Include location and contact details such as your website. Stick to brief, easy-to-read bits of information
  • Do a Google search if you need help with layout and examples of bios and fact sheets, or media releases. There are plenty of workshops you can attend on these and other media subjects too – such as how to do a successful interview with a journalist!
  • Prepare brief responses to key questions relevant to your industry, so that you are always ready with a well-thought-out reply. You may include some current trends in your industry and your thoughts on these, some challenges in your industry, the story of how you got to be where you are, and even responses to possible crisis situations.
  • Bring in your branding – make sure your bio, your photo and any responses are in line with your personal and business brand. Here’s a great example from a local ‘web celeb’, Kylie Bartlett
  • Like Kylie, it’s a very good idea to have some kick-ass profile photos that really show off who you are – this goes a long way to create interest! One of our specialities is this sort of Creative Profile Shoot – check out some examples at
  • A photographer will not always be sent out to you with a journalist – and you don’t always get to keep these photos anyway – so it’s a good idea to prepare some ‘action’ shots to give to media outlets when they are looking for a story. A great picture just might be the deciding factor! You could plan a professional shoot to include photos of you and your team at work or with clients, photos of your products and services and so on. Planning a shoot to cover a variety of images – not just your profile photo – can be really time- and cost-effective for you and will mean you are showing your business in the best and most professional light.

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