Tony Tighe and Stuart Crawford Discuss How MSPs Can Leverage Media and PR
Can Your MSP Leverage Media To Grow Your Business?
Your MSP has a great story to tell. So how do you get coverage and exposure for your business?
More media coverage helps raise name and brand awareness. What’s the right strategy for making sure your company is featured in a story that will get readers or viewers thinking about you?
Media relations is not something many MSP business leaders have a lot of experience with. Below are a few insights into how to get the coverage you crave.
What Kinds of Ideas Are Journalists Looking For?
Not so long ago, companies could simply write a press release and get some coverage in the local newspaper, radio station or even a TV mention. Those times, however, are long gone.
Print, television, radio and digital media outlets today are all looking for content. They’re looking for information that’s going to add value to what their audience wants to see. The outlet’s target audience, whether it’s women aged 35-55, men 18-34, teens or seniors, is a driving force in how editors and writers decide what’s newsworthy.
MSPs need to find ways to connect with the audiences that media outlets are trying to attract.
“Where do you fit? What’s the message? What can you bring to them?” said media relations consultant and former broadcaster Tony Tighe in a recent podcast. “It has to be something with added value,” — information or news you can use. It can’t be, ‘Guess what. We’re doing something important.’ You’ve got to think about what you’re going to offer that adds value to their audience — what their audience is going to learn from or take away from what you’re offering.”
How Can I Get Started with MSP Media Outreach?
The first step to take before making a media pitch is knowing who the media are. You have to know the people and the audiences. To get coverage, you need to know names, job titles and roles. Know what a digital media specialist does versus a technology editor so that you make the right pitch to the right people. The copy editor at your local newspaper probably isn’t assigning stories. It’s not the on-air talent to target with a story idea, it’s the producer working behind the scenes.
Does Timing Story Ideas Matter?
The time of day or day of the week doesn’t matter as much anymore. Since most outlets are going to start planning what they’re going to cover early in the day, sending information between 7-10 a.m. is not a good idea.
It’s more important to make sure you give them 4-5 days of lead time if there is a major announcement you want to publicize. Ideas that are more general can really be pitched anytime.
There’s another important factor to consider — when radio, television or newspaper deadlines are. If you’re contacted by a reporter, it behooves you to get back to them as quickly as possible. Not only does it help reporters with deadlines, but it shows you’re a reliable resource if they have a tech-related story. Reporters will move on to other potential sources, possibly your competitors, if they don’t hear back fast.
How Do I Know What to Offer?
You want to position yourself as a trusted, reliable resource with expertise who a reporter can turn to when the needs arise. As an MSP professional, you can speak to lots of issues, including cybersecurity, local impact of a security breach, home computer use, new software products and mobile technology.
Build your credibility by being available if they need you. You can also put the word out when a national tech story breaks, such as a new iPhone or a malware attack, and offer to provide insights that their viewers or readers will find valuable.
The same goes for major national cyber-related campaigns or events you can tap into with events, tips and awareness that media will want to cover locally. There are plenty to choose from, including National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October) and World Backup Day (March 31).
Focus on content that audiences want and building relationships with journalists to see your media exposure grow. At Ulistic, we help MSPs with the right marketing and website strategies.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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