Contacting a journalist is a great way to get the word out about your accounting business. This tactic must be a part of your business plan. You need the exposure that a top ranking local journalist can give you regardless of the size of your accounting firm.


The first step before you even start looking at journalists is to do an analysis of your accounting business. You need to list the services that you provide like tax, audit, tax return, and company accounts. You need to have details about each service and what you do that sets you apart.


Your preparation needs to be as specific and detailed as possible. The point of all the work is to manage the interview. You have to take control of any talk with any journalist or they will control you. Your business cannot afford to have a nasty interview kill the growth of business that you expect a journalist to produce for you.


Your next preparation step is to look for journalists that favor your area of work. Do some internet searches and see what companies do tax, audit, business plan, company accounts, and tax return for the company the journalist works for. This narrows down your choices and prevents an interview with a journalist with a vested interest in making you look bad. You cannot outspend huge companies if you are small.


These are some hard and fast rules for getting to busy journalists who can get the word out about you.


1) Do not call


It is generally a bad idea to call a journalist asking for their time. You have to look at calls from the journalist’s point of view. Journalists field hundreds of calls a week. Calling early in the morning or around 4:30 p. m. is the worst time. These are the meeting and press times when journalists are the most pressed for time.


2) Email etiquette


Make your email brief. State what you want and when you want it in as few words as possible. Be direct. Brevity is the soul of wit and the respect for time gets you results. Sending all the details of your interview plan is a guarantee that you will never hear from the person you want to contact.


3) Curry favor with the gate keeper


Most journalists have assistants to field calls and manage their schedules. It is worth your time to make a personal visit to the journalist’s office and arrange a date and time for a planning meeting for your piece with the gatekeeper. Get a feel for the gatekeeper’s personality and grease the path if possible.


4) Go social


All journalists have social media pages. You have a better chance of making direct contact there than you do anywhere else. An adroit mention of your work can get the people who follow the journalist on your side. The journalist’s social media fans can help you get the interview you want and may become clients.