Exposing your products to the huge audiences of mainstream media (newspapers, national business publications, television and radio) can generate a large number of sales leads and also provide exposure that can get you on prospects' short lists very quickly.

But convincing journalists and others who write for publications and shows with audiences of hundreds of thousands (or millions!) to cover your products or services isn't a simple task. This article will provide some tips on how to overcome the many hurdles involved in obtaining product coverage in major mainstream media.

Finding the Right Angle

The biggest challenge in breaking into the mainstream media is coming up with an angle that editors will see as newsworthy. Simply describing a better product or an interesting application isn't going to cut it.

You need something that is either truly extraordinary from a technical standpoint, which is usually hard to find, or a story that shows how technology can affect the average person.

For example, a recent CNN article explained how computer simulation was used to determine why some of the bubbles in a glass of beer go down when you would normally expect all of them to rise. The article, which shows how the average person is affected by technology in an out-of-the-ordinary way, provides a perfect example of how to get mass media interested in a B2B product.

Putting Together the Proposal

Once you decide on the right subject matter, the next critical step is putting together a proposal directed to the editors, producers and reporters who will be considering the idea.

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Jerry Fireman (jerry_fireman@strucinfo.com) is president of Structured Information (www.strucinfo.com), a company that provides marketing communications services on a project basis.