Planning… It is fascinating how many entrepreneurs don’t do it. They may do a little here or there, perhaps write something out on a napkin while sitting at the bar, or in a restaurant booth. Some even go as far as having a notebook to write in or in today’s age voice text or type into a notepad app. The challenge is those notes can go unread for weeks, even months sometimes. We think ‘where did I put that’ only to xfind it after the fact.

The solution is to create plan. Yes, the business plan (Click HERE if you want to find out more about the importance of the business plan). Currently, there are many different opinions and suggestions, paths to take that mentors or coaches will tell you or direct you to take when it comes to building out a business plan.

 I’m not here to discuss the pros and cons of whether one should have a tangible business plan. I believe in them. I’m here to stress the importance about why you should develop a media plan.

It Starts With Separation Anxiety

What I typically see are entrepreneurs who will create their business plan, then put it away for use ‘someday’ yet rarely go back and reference it. Then, out of the desperation of a moment, will scurry to make a media plan. When we create out of desperation we don’t think clearly.

Wow, that’s, good. So good, I want to say it again:

When we create out of desperation, we rarely think clearly…

Now, this brings up two critical points.

  1. People think they need a media plan and a business plan 
  2. Having these two plans means that business and media are separate.

 Nothing is further from the truth. 

Your media plan needs to be a part of your business plan

Your media plan should be an engaging part of your business, not treated like a one-off thing. When we think of business plans, we think about marketing, the financials, or our overall mission and vision. Not enough entrepreneurs understand that media engagement as being integral to all the pieces of a business plan.

Media exposure and growth should be intertwined into your overall business strategy. Your business plan should be all-encompassing. When they get treated like two separate concepts, entrepreneurs can struggle to connect the dots between the two. It is imperative to integrate media into your business from day one, not when you are well into your business and begin to think that you should consider media exposure.

Media needs to be threaded throughout your entire business. I tend to focus more specifically on mainstream media as compared to social media, however what we are seeing these days is the integration of social media and mainstream media. Take podcasting for example. Podcasts, which started as a cool, almost underground social experiment to give voice to those who didn’t believe they had one and have become a mainstay for many businesses.   

Act… Now

Understanding media is a crucial piece to understanding and creating a solid media plan. In fact, so important that I wrote a book on learning the secrets to breaking into media. With so much information out there, it can be hard to decipher what is good and relevant. Bigger questions like how to penetrate the industry, especially if you are in your first few years become extremely relevant. Even seasoned entrepreneurs struggle with understanding media and implementing a successful media plan.

I have developed five essential steps for media planning. They are:

  1. Pre-Planning
  2. Pitch
  3. Preparation
  4. Performance
  5. Post-Planning

When these five steps are followed, they have a high level of return. Beyond that they create a framework for staying organized, which from the media side is a trait they look for.

Have a media plan? Share it! Need help developing a media plan? Ask for it!