I just wrote about Courageous Content Marketing and now I get an opportunity to showcase an example of Content Marketing being done really well.
Content Marketing means that you share information of value with your community for no other reason but to share relevant information and strengthen relationships. This entire concept is continually on full display at the free Small Business workshops offered by Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). “Media Training for Small Business” was one of the workshops I recently attended, presented by Lilia Chacon, currently BACP’s Director of Information. (However, I recognized her from her previous role as a Fox News Anchor.) Chicago is in the midst of a transformation. It's great to see some authentic support of Small Business Owners with their Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection education series.
Even Lilia was surprised at the sizable crowd that showed up on the Friday of the July 4th Holiday week. There were over 50 people there. I was delighted the diverse group included new business owners, people considering opening businesses and seasoned business owners like me. The vast perspectives and experience created lively and robust conversation.
Full of Wit and Wisdom and incredibly approachable, Lilia gave us several nuggets of knowledge to consider when learning how to work with the Media as part of our promotion plans. Here are a few:
"While viewers see an average of 1,000,000 messages a year, there has never been a better time to get your message out there." I must say I've gotta agree with that one – reporters are easily found on Twitter. While publications have a print and online presence, there are several social media options to consider that require no budget or a very nominal one. So if you have a small business and you're not approaching the media, no matter what you do, it's time to seriously reconsider. Lilia added that Chicago, a world class city, gets attention around the world! She specifically mentioned Black Dog Gelato - their Goat Cheese Cashew Carmel flavor is inspired. I. cannot. walk. by. it. Anyway, Lilia pointed out that we are seeing their name everywhere - and it's true. If an ice cream shop can do it . . .
She helped us to understand how to control our media image and how to minimize being misquoted. "Speak in memorable sound bites." Here's mine, one I created after listening to Lilia, "I know a little bit about a lot of things, which enables me to write about many things."
When you are in a tough spot, or asked tough questions, revert back to a memorable statement that diverts the conversation and brings you back to your core message. Example: "I don't know much about . . . but here's what I do know: (insert memorable, easily repeatable message)”.
Lastly, she said what we all know: Image counts. Make sure your jacket or shirt fits, especially around the shoulders. Look into the camera. Don't look away or you'll look shifty-eyed and not trustworthy. Draw attention to your face. Keep the camera a little bit higher than eye level. This hold true for videos shot with your camera and posted on Facebook or other social media.
I'm very happy to report this education series is very well worth 90 minutes of your time – and it's free, compliments of the City. It's easy to pick on all the things that are wrong in Chicago. It's also fun to showcase when we do something right.
- Alicia Dale
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