Put Yourself in the Reporters Shoes

Imagine you're the technology reporter at a daily newspaper. You learn that a new computer virus is making the rounds on the Net and you find that it has shut down three local banks within the past few hours. You're desperately searching for information on the virus, names and phone numbers of experts who can tell you about it, ways to prevent the virus from spreading, how to eradicate the virus and repair the damage to computers, and a spokesperson from at least one of the banks so you can get a quote for your article -- all before 5 PM so you can write the story that will appear on tomorrow's front page. Whew!

I'll bet you're feeling a bit frazzled and impatient. Where would you start?

Right. You'll look in your database for a local computer expert to help you understand the scope of the problem, the damage expected and how to fix it.

You call the first one. No answer. You don't have a cell phone number. So you call the next expert. She's not in her office but you call her cell phone and she answers. You get most of the information you need and several website references to look up the rest. This woman is a saint!

Now that you understand the problem, you call Bank #1, but you can't get through to anyone except the receptionist, and she's not helpful. You call Bank #2 and the president takes your call but says, "No comment." You secretly think she's an idiot and vow never to talk to her again.

You call Bank #3 and the marketing director is very helpful. He begins with, "How can I help you?" and then gives you a brief summary of the situation, offers to set up a meeting within the next few minutes with the president and the bank's IT director. "In the meantime," says Mr. Marketing Director, "please take a look at our website. Our Media Room is up-to-date. There you'll find bios and photos of our president, Mr. Boss, and our IT director, Mr. Whizkid. The photos are in various sizes, downloadable and suitable for printing. There's also a copy of our last annual report, information about our locations and number of employees, and much more that might be helpful to your story."

You go to the website. It's very easy to navigate and you find everything you need to complete your story. Now all you need are a couple of good quotes and you're done. The interview goes off without a hitch. Everyone is open and honest. You get great quotes.

Now you have all the information you need and finish the story in time to have a drink after work with your friends. You tell them about the terrific marketing director at Bank #3, saying, "I love that man."

Now step out of the reporter's shoes and think about your company. If you were really in this situation, you'd like to be Bank #3, wouldn't you? What does your Media Room look like? Do you have everything you need there? Is it easy to navigate? To find out what you should include, read "Does Your Media Room Rock?" here: http://ezinearticles.com/?M ake-Sure-Your-Media-Room-Rocks&id=2045

Lois Carter Fay, APR, is a 30-year veteran in the P.R. and marketing field. She works with women business owners and small business owners to help them improve their businesses.

She now produces three marketing ezines, Brainy Tidbits, Brainy Flash, and Success Secrets of Women Entrepreneurs. All are free. Visit http://www.MarketingIdeaShop.com or http://www.WomenMarketing.com to subscribe and claim your free special report.

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