By Terri M. Sommella, President, Sommella Market Strategies
Before tax season snows you under, get the attention of your local media. They can keep you visible even when you're not.
Do you have aggressive partners who want brand equity? Create a spreadsheet of these partners, their areas of service expertise and industry concentrations to send to key reporters. If you have media savvy partners who are willing to promptly return calls from a reporter on deadline, you might include the partner's cell phone number on the spreadsheet. If a partner is unable to return calls promptly, do not include that partner with your media relations efforts. If you're cautious, start with one reporter per partner and develop that relationship. Add your firm's logo to the spreadsheet for visual effect, and if space allows, a thumbnail photo of each partner. Laminate the sheet. E-mail advance notification to the reporter so he or she will be looking for the package. Send the laminated "Expertise List" to the reporters with a cover letter. Explain that you'd be delighted to provide any information possible during tax season, and year round for that matter, and will make every effort to return calls promptly.
Caveat: If partners don't respond promptly, you won't be called by that reporter again.
When asked how this idea would be received, a credible reporter at a business journal said, "Are you kidding? We'd love it. CPA firms don't send me anything like this. Some lawyers do, and I refer to the lists (for editorial quotes) all the time."
There it is. The How To for your 15 minutes of fame.
This media tip is provided by Terri Sommella