By Melanie McGrice

www.melaniemcgrice.com.au

OK so a journalist has contacted you and asked you to be interviewed for an article.  The reason why you’re spending your time to answer her questions without being paid is for potential referrals to your business, right?  So, to get referrals for your business you need to provide the journalist with some short, to-the-point information about you to trigger potential clients look you up. 

Consider these thoughts:

  •        A website: if possible ask the journalist to refer to you as ‘x from yourwebsite.com’ instead of from your business name.  Journalists are always short for space and this is the most important piece of information that you can include so that potential clients can find you.
  •        A headshot: a picture tells a thousand words.  Even if the journalist doesn’t ask for it, it’s important to send the journalist a headshot.  You never know when they’ll have some space to fill at the last minute…. And if nothing else, it gives the journalist an idea of what you look like – which helps him or her feel like they know you better, which means that you’ll be more likely to be contacted next time.
  •        Your description: usually called a ‘bio’, ‘tagline’, ‘byline’ or ‘profile’.  Again, ensure that you send this through, even if you’re not asked.  You need to have a few different bio’s of different lengths ready to go: a) a few key words, b) a sentence and c) a paragraph.  Your bio should highlight your specialties, who your target market is, your geographic area and something memorable about you.  For example: “health-conscious mum of three, chiwawa walker, avid facebooker, and you guessed it, being a Melbourne girl, a coffee connoisseur!” In less than 20 words this bio gives you a good picture of who this lady is (can you picture her?? And no, it’s not me, I don’t have a chiwawa!), her interests and how to get in contact with her. I’ve updated my bios at least 10 times over the past 15 years so expect to keep improving it.  One more tip: read other people’s bio’s and see what you like to inspire you with ideas for improving yours.