The Power of the Media

Last week, my colleague, Michele, and I were invited as guests on a local business radio show, Smart Companies Radio hosted by Kelly Scanlon at Thinking Bigger Business Media.  Kelly asked us all about the work that we are doing at Kauffman FastTrac, focused especially on a major symposium for women interested in entrepreneurship that we are hosting next week (check it out at www.fasttrac.org/women).  It was a wonderful, conversational discussion.  It was a great morning Coffee interaction. 

Later, when I heard from friends and colleagues that they heard me on the radio and really liked learning about the work that I am doing, I was reminded of the important power of the media.  I was reminded that the media presents us with important information about people, companies, industries that can be enormously useful in our networking endeavors. 

We are all surrounded by media everyday… radio, TV, newspaper… the INTERNET.  In fact, it sometimes feels as if we are overly inundated, burdened, blasted by messages – wanted and unwanted.  My recommendation:  STOP listening to the noise and FOCUS your interests on information that is pertinent to engaging others.  You must learn to take advantage of the media that is available to you and to employ this powerful tool in your work as a networker.

For example, most cities have at least one newspaper and/or a magazine that focuses on local business and related news.  In my city, one such weekly periodical is the Kansas City Business Journal.  Truth be told, I don’t have time to read the paper cover-to-cover, but I do make the time to flip through cover-to-cover.  I seek out articles and pictures on people (aka, networking contacts/prospects), companies, industries that I want to learn about, contact, etc.  In fact, one of my favorite things to do is find and clip [positive] articles on people who I know to send to them with a short handwritten note.  Believe me, it has an impact on people.  It makes them feel good that you bothered to read the article and to send them your well wishes.  At the very least, they get a second copy to send to their proud mothers; very best case scenario, you have just established another touch point with one of your contacts.  Good – no, GREAT – networking move!

Note also that periodicals like The Business Journal include calendars of events – great places to meet the people who you want to meet.  And, most of these publications offer daily emails, at no charge, that cover hot topics and breaking news in your area.  Be sure to subscribe to them even if you don’t get the paper on a weekly basis.

In summary:

  • Leverage the media to do your networking research on a daily basis.
  • Subscribe to your local business periodical. 
  • Scan the media for articles about and pictures of people, companies and/or industries that you would like to keep in touch with or get to know better.  Clip the information and send it with a short note to the person in the article.  It makes for an excellent touch point and leaves the door wide open to extend a Coffee-Lunch-Coffee invitation.
  • Review the media for events whose speaker line ups and/or audiences will include people who you want to interact with and/or get to know better.  In other words, fish where the fish are!
  • Subscribe to blogs, daily/weekly e-blasts that include information about the local business scene.

Tomorrow, we will continue our discussion about media while shifting our attention to the social side of media.  In closing, I hope that you all had a meaningful Veteran’s Day, especially on this unusual binary date 11.11.11 (I can’t help myself… I was a math major… these numbers are too, too fun!).  I look forward to our next Coffee break together.

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