Everyone is hungry for good news, even the media. We’re being literally deluged with gloom-laden stories, so the media is seizing on any crumbs of good news that may appear. The recession has seen the rise of the new business slot in many sections of the media. Regardless of the medium, the format of these slots is the same. They offer a snapshot of the business and its owner and celebrate people who are bucking the rend and turning a crisis into an opportunity. The businesses features ofen have a creative twist, or have found unique ways of giving people value for money.
TV3 has been especially proactive in promoting new businesses. Ireland AM has a slot where three business owners showcase their business. Motorbike hearses, classes to restore the lost art of sewing and wedding directories are among the business which have found a platform on this slot. Businesses with a fashion or beauty theme are often featured on XPose.
Similar slots have appeared on radio. Down to Business on Newstalk, the Sunday Business Supplement on Today FM and The Business on RTE Radio 1 make a point of celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship. Some of the slots are simply question and answer interviews, but sometimes they visit your business and create a soundtrack which brings your business to life. Business success stories are now spilling over onto mainstream chat and current affairs shows.
Most of the national newspapers have incorporated new business slots into their business pages. These often include a short, light-hearted questionnaire with the business owner and a profile of hte business’s goals and ativities. Each week, the back page of the the Irish Times Health Supplement features a person who has made a radical career change or decided to turn a long-buried passion into a business.
The difference between these slots and mainstream business stories is that they give you a a chance to display your passion for your business and give the audience a sense of the person behind the business. This engages the interest of the audience and they’re more likely to spread the word about your business amongst their friends. Such word-of-mouth publicity cannot be bought. New business slots are one of the most effective forms of free publicity for new businesses. People who have featured on these slots report a huge surge in interest after their appearance.
If you have set up a business in the last year, editors and producers will be interested in hearing from you. They will also be interested if you have changed the direction of an established business, or have decided to diversify within your business. Most slots contain contact information, which will make it easier for you to access. Write a brief email describing your business and your own background and explaining why your business is unique or special. Many businesses are fighting for the honour of being included in these slots, but if you don’t succeed with one, there are always other options. Good luck.