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Get your small business or non-profit covered in the news Also marketing and sales tips regarding social media

 

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On Saturday, January 25th, 2014 the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists’ held the 2014 Media Access Workshop hosted by PhillyCAM in Center City. Now I know what you may be thinking. Small Biz Philly is a blog about small business in Philadelphia, so what does that have to do with journalism? Well, my friend, there is a big correlation between being a small business owner and getting your name out there in the media by reporters in your area. So, let’s go ahead and dive right into the information that was presented.

 

There were three separate panels on board, each with their own brand of experts discussing various topics and sharing their secrets as professional journalists. First off, there was the subject of getting media coverage for small businesses and non-profits. An intense dialogue on how news reporters determine what makes a good story ensued. It all seemed to boil down to crafting a descriptive narrative that would move and compel you, make a huge impact on the community, have strong character, as well as being reliable and providing viable and credible information. It is clear that in news reporting, all stories are about people and how these stories affect us as a community. Even if the subject is an inanimate object such as a table, the table still had a maker, which of course is a human being, and there had to be a story behind that table. So regardless if your business is selling tangible items and you have a brick-and-mortar shop, you [the small business owner] still have a story behind all those products, and these stories are exactly what news reporters are looking for. 

 

One important note to consider behind story telling is that no matter what the story is, there are always two types of stories: a) What everyone would be interested in and b) what the community would want to follow. So definitely make sure that your story behind your small business is not only enticing but can be so impactful. Create a following and it will take on a life of its own. 

 

Also discussed was making pitches for a story. Some bullet points to consider are to be specific, brief and to the point with your wording; think newspaper headlines: the who, what, when, where, why and how.  Focus on what makes people care so you can make a visual that will give the community a call to action. Be sure to develop relationships so you can build friendships, which will ultimately generate trust and likeability. After all, the best form of advertising is word of mouth, so communicate effectively with your audience. In addition to that, much emphasis was placed on not telling a reporter too far in advance to cover your story because they are already busy working on the evening news and are not looking that far in advance yet.  

For the discussion of social media, it was conveyed that it is extremely important to take advantage of this 2-way communication platform. This will allow for engagement of your customers to let them know they are heard and appreciated. Social media is a double-edged sword in that it can work for or against you, so be mindful to reply with kindness and handle any complaints about your small business swiftly and diligently.

Two big reasons to be on social media are to be part of the conversation and create CIA (Customer Intelligence Acceptance). This will in effect create buzz, thus building a big business. Some pointers on accomplishing this is to create a hash tag (more on that in a future blog post) and having a profile pic of your organization that your audience can identify with. This will better prepare you and get more people re-tweeting your posts. The two biggest social networks recommended for small business were Facebook and Twitter, although it was mentioned that it is best to use a combination of the most popular ones out there (Linkedin, Pinterest, and Google Plus in addition to the aforementioned social networks). This way you can get the best of all designated platforms because they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

 

The final segment of the program focused on the scoop of business story telling. You want to connect your story to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual essence. In the world of business, marketing, branding and sales are all about:

  • Engagement
  • Listening
  • Creating storied experiences to sustain customer loyalty and profits
  • Being a wellspring for change
  • Helping unite community around an organization.

First and foremost, you must focus on a story that will generate satisfied customers. Review the content you create. Listen to your customers and do extensive research. This will allow you to become the authority in your field giving you a slight edge over your competition.

 

            So there you have it folks. As a small business owner, it is very important to be actively involved in your community and sharing your story for all to hear. Do right, take charge, and I hope to see your story being told in the news someday.

 

The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit for black journalists in the Philadelphia area. http://www.pabj.org

 

PhillyCAM is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit providing  the Philadelphia community access to their television channel. www.phillycam.org

 

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Campus Corner: Campus Crusaders for Christ (CRU)

Harley D. Marsh

Written February 22, 2013
Published in The Dynamo
The Univerisity of Mount Union

If you’ve been searching for something on campus that can change your life around for the better, Cru is the place to come. Campus Crusaders for Christ, otherwise known as Cru, is a student run Christian club that meets every Thursday at 8:30pm in Dewald Chapel. Students can come together to pray, worship with a live band, and hear an inspiring message. Cru is dedicated to spreading the word of Jesus and bringing those who question faith to a place where they can grow spiritually and make lifelong friends.

Ella Boothby, junior and Cru Student Leader, said “Cru is a youth group at college. We come to worship and learn about God together. We have bible studies and make connections with people that can relate.” Junior Mark Stevens explained, “Cru is a good way to show your…

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