Looking for Publicity?

“Worry not that no one knows you. Seek to be worth knowing.”

Clients and colleagues often ask me how to attract attention to their business. Here are a few tips for getting the publicity you may be craving. You’ll find additional tips in my book, Marketing Demystified (McGraw-Hill, 2010).

Tip 1 – Focus First on ValueWant to know where I found a particular gem of PR wisdom? Inside a fortune cookie. That’s right, smack dab in the middle of a Chinese restaurant. And, I knew that cookie was truly meant for me — a PR Person — when I read the gold inside. The little white slip in my hand advised me to “Worry not that no one knows of you. Seek to be worth knowing.” It doesn’t get more profound than that. So, as soon as I read it, I knew I would share that bit of wisdom with my web community, friends and clients.I hope you love the essence of that message as much as I do. It gets right to the heart of marketing and public relations as it calls us to create value for others. What better way is there to become known, earn a great reputation and serve the world?In today’s cluttered, time-starved, media world, delivering value is the best way to differentiate yourself. Garnering public recognition for your work, accomplishments or special causes starts with delivering value. But it doesn’t end there. If people don’t find out how valuable you are, you may as well be shouting underwater as big waves tumble over. You go glug-glug, but no one notices. First, ensure value, then spread the word.

Tip 2 – Craft a Compelling Message

Behavior is shaped by beliefs. Decide what you want people to believe about you, your product, service or firm. As you do, also consider the benefit to people in believing that. How will it serve them? How will it serve you? That reminds me: more than 20 years ago, when I turned in my first newspaper article, my editor looked up at me and asked, “So What?” As a novice reporter, I had written a grammatically correct, historically accurate account of the news. I was proud of my writing, but I quickly learned that it didn’t command attention. I did what I had been taught in school. I wrote for a crescendo. But news writing is about immediate impact. When you craft your message, go for the gold up front. Get right to the point.

Tip 3 – Think Like a Reporter

Reporters look for the new and different, as well as the meaningful. To get a sense for what writers in your targeted media are after, read what they are writing about and learn what interests them. Can you help a reporter expand on a series, write about a related item, or meet a deadline? Do you have a thrilling insight or tip that can help them win a Pulitzer? (Well, one can hope!) As competitive as it is to get into the news, summer may be just the right time. When people, schools and businesses take vacation, news items slow down. This offers an opportunity for creative pitching, especially if you can offer something seasonal, or if you are thinking ahead for back-to-school or holiday stories. When pitching your story, be prepared with several angles, so when a reporter asks, “what else have you got?” or “why is that significant?” you will have a powerful answer. Plan in advance; don’t wait until the last minute. And always submit calendar notices at least two to four weeks ahead of anticipated publication dates. Check the media deadlines so you won’t get caught short.

Tip 4 – Don’t Wait for the Press

Write and post your own news release on the Web. Make a video to spread on YouTube. Write your nws on a blog. The Internet becomes a more powerful communications medium every day. Jump in and create PR waves that others can surf. Writing selectively on blogs of interest will help you get your name and perspective out there. Developing your own website or blog can provide a worldwide podium. (Be sure to search engine optimize your web pages if you want people to find your news.) As you get used to blogging, you’ll refine your messages. If you blog often, you’ll begin to build a content powerhouse. Write news releases  that you can post on your own website for public consumption. While you are doing your own think, make time to send press releases out. You can email them yourself to your favorite news editors, or use a wire service. Also remember to submit your news to e-zines, company newsletters and friends.

Tip 5- Know the News

A great way to get into the news is to know the news. Watch, read and listen to what is happening around you. Think about where your story fits in. Pay attention to which reporters cover topics in your bailiwick. When doing outreach, choose reporters and publications with an interest in your subject. To maximize results, ask a professional for help.

If you have PR questions or concerns, please contact me. Email your question to: donna@boldmarketingsolutions.com