Whether it’s your grand opening or a special holiday event, if you can get media into your space and get a little attention, that can bring exponential exposure to your brand, but how do go from a handshake to a lasting relationship? How do bring quality schmoozing to the table?
Now I’m not one to play games and I hate being inauthentic, but to be honest when it comes to media relationships, just like sales, sometimes you have to dig deep down, grab a little courage and a smile, and sweet talk your way through. Here are some tips for schmoozing that moves beyond the syrupy ridiculous and into the quality connections:
1) Be Ready! Have some samples or freebies set aside. If you are giving out SWAG, keep a few in reserve. You don’t want to be left empty handed if a news crew shows up.
2) Be Chatty! I know you’re tired but think of them as a potentially big client or customer. Turn on the smile, thank them profusely for taking the time to be there, and talk up your excitement!
3) Be Connected! Especially when you are dealing with local media, you want your community focus to shine. Turn your conversations around into how happy you are to be in that area and how much you love the history, the future, the opportunities there!
4) Be Available! Wear pockets and stuff them with business cards. When someone from the media introduces themselves, make sure they know how excited you are to share trends, marketing insights, viewer or reader ideas with them. Then hand them your card, let them know you are available for quotes or interviews. Oh and here’s a trick… tell them “This is my information if you ever need to get in touch.” Make sure it sounds exclusive. They want to feel like they have a great, limited connection!
5) Be Flattered! I know you’ve pitched an exhausting number of times. I know you’re jaded and disillusioned. But when that media celebrity – no matter how small – walks in, be ready to welcome them with enthusiasm. I’m not saying you need to make an announcement. (In fact, just as any celebrity walking in, I recommend not demeaning other customers by ignoring or neglecting them. All customers should be treated like celebrities.) Ergo, treat news outlets like your favorite customer… and maybe just a bit better.