As I’ve mentioned here before, I write a business column for the Flathead Beacon, an online newspaper here in Northwest Montana.
When I have the time and inclination, I also cover sports and other stories about my community (Columbia Falls, Montana) that interest me.
So I take a photo of Rehberg and Montana Chamber of Commerce President / CEO Webb Brown (on the left in the photo above) at a Kalispell “listening session” a month or so ago and insert it into my brief article covering Rehberg’s session.
The next day, a communications specialist at the Montana Chamber of Commerce finds my Beacon article about Rehberg’s session and asks if they can use the photo (which includes their president/CEO)Â in their monthly magazine / newsletter.
I was a bit surprised they wanted to use the photo since the microphone is obscuring some of Mr. Brown’s face, but it is what it is. I think they were simply glad to have his photo with Rep. Rehberg.
Good news, bad news
I say sure, they can use the photo in their publication if they include a photo credit that points to the blog and they agree. Good news for me, as state chamber members will be a very nicely targeted audience for Business is Personal.
So my mail arrives and what do you know, the photo not only appears in this month’s Montana Chamber of Commerce magazine called “Eye on Business”, but it appears *on the cover*.
Unfortunately, there is a typo in my photo credit’s URL.
It happens. In fact, it happens more often than you would expect, so you have to be prepared to react properly.
Some might flip out at this point, but think about it – I can’t change the magazine.
The magazine is already printed and in the mail. Reacting strategically is the only viable solution.
Thankfully, I am fortunate enough that the typo’d website address is available, so I grab it and create a simple one-page website that acts as a landing page for Eye on Business readers who see the photo credit and are curious enough to read more.
But wait, there’s more. No one other than those readers know that site’s address. It’s only in the magazine and I have no good reason to use it elsewhere.
This means that a very high percentage of the people who see this page will do so because they are readers of Eye on Business. In fact, that means I have good reason NOT to use it elsewhere because of this situation.
Result: I can customize the message on the new site to Montana Chamber of Commerce members, making their first experience with me even more personal. That’s exactly what I did.
Yet another opportunity
I must admit that I thought it was a little odd that the contact with the Chamber was not also used as an opportunity to ask me what I know about the Chamber’s work, if I was a member, and if I would like to get an application form etc.
Nor was a brochure or application included in the package I received in the mail with the sample issues.Â This was a missed opportunity to ask, much less just tell their story.
Are you missing out on opportunities like that? Keep your eyes open for them. Sales opportunities that are in context tend to be a lot more fruitful than those that are not.