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With the focus on goal setting and actually keeping resolutions this month, a lot of the personal ones seem pretty basic: eat more fruits and vegetables, get up from your chair and exercise, connect with your loved ones, etc. Doing the things that lead to a healthy, happy lifestyle are often basic (though not always simple) and important.

The same holds true in business, as I’ve spoken to other business owners, clients and colleagues…we all want to serve our customers, be productive and make money, right? Tell us a business that isn’t interested in some of that, and then show us what they are interested in, please! We want to know!

When it comes to garnering press coverage for your business, there are some other things are just back-to-the-basics and important when sharing your story, reaching out to or dealing with the media. We’ve put together a list of five basic reminders when dealing with the press:

1) It’s Not Just About You. Who could it possibly be about if you’re reaching out to the media about your business, right? Well, it’s about your customer and the media’s audience. You receive the benefit of a mention or your business being seen, but you are providing a service. You are being informative (or inspirational) and sharing information that is valuable to – not you – but your customer and audience. Remember that as you’re thinking about the story you want to share.

2) Communicate & Do What You Say You’re Going To Do. Novel idea, wouldn’t you agree? We told you these were basic. If you’re going to book an interview, make your appointment time. If you’re going to follow-up with pictures, do so (promptly). If you’ve changed your mind about something, say so…before the deadline.

3) Run Spell Check & Use Proper Grammar. Seems like common sense, but we’ve all heard that common sense isn’t all that common and it’s true. No, we weren’t spelling bee champs (well, not international or anything) and we’re not grammar snobs, but we do care about written communication. Taking care in the presentation of the language you have learned to write is important. If you want a quick way to turn off the media, go ahead and use text speak or write like you took a drink before you sat down at the computer. You’re reaching out to people who like to write, or at least do so for a living. “But I’m not a writer!” you say. Understood. Perhaps you’ll have a typo or the comma in the wrong place. It happens, we’re human. What we’re saying is take care in your writing. Take time to craft your pitch. Proofread. Show some respect and run spell check! (It’s free!!)

4) Be Kind. Have you ever called someone and they answered with a nasty attitude or tone? And then they find out it’s you and they sweeten up, “Oh! Hhhhiiiii!!” Yeah, don’t be that guy or girl. The easiest way around this? Be pleasant as much as you can, as often as you can, to whomever you can. That way, if the media suddenly calls you, s/he doesn’t think you’re a phony. Or you at least have to fess up and say why you answered with an attitude. Briefly – it’s not a counseling session – and of course, with discretion, because they might just think you’re weird. Isn’t it easier (and better) to just be kind? We think so, too.

5) Be Interesting. Rarely do people strive to be boring, but sometimes people don’t always try to be interesting. Imagine doing the same thing over and over and over again, if you’re not going crazy, you might be bored out of your mind. We once signed on a new client and when we called our media partners, the first thing they said was, “You’re working with ____ now? Thank goodness! Can you please tell them to stop sending me the same press release over and over?!” It’s not the media’s job to find you interesting; it’s your job to be interesting. Be open to change and be creative.

Bonus Tip: Be Yourself. You’re good enough, just as you are. So don’t be too hard on yourself as you go through the waiting game and process with securing media coverage, and know when to enlist the assistance of professionals (allow us to recommend a media relations firm). Unless you’re a celebrity, you’re not going to live in the press and those celebrities who are living in the press, a lot of them wish they could take a break sometimes. Can you imagine your every move being photographed and posted? Can definitely get old quick, right? Reminder, being good enough (as you are) doesn’t mean you simply stay the same though. Every day you have an opportunity to try something new, learn, grow and become better. Incorporate that into your business and media outreach!

Any basics you need to get back to in business? Personal? Life? Any tips to add?

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