Every business owner wants FREE publicity for their company, or for the new product that was in R & D for the past year. The reality is free publicity comes with a price, it’s called time. If you are willing to invest the time and effort it takes to gain favorable publicity, then keep reading.
So where do you start? You can spend a lot of money buying books on How To Get Publicity from places like AMAZON, or hire a PR consultant to teach you the tricks of getting in front of an editor. Whatever you choose, it requires a lot of time to learn these various methods. After getting all this education, you would then need to decide which road is best for your company.
An easier way is to just follow my collection of publicity tips. For the past twenty-five years I implemented pr campaigns and have met with many talented PR counselors to develop a simple process that you can use today.
To begin, you need to identify your market and make a media contact list of the publications, and news broadcast reporters who cover subjects that are related to your industry. Then determine if the newsworthy story is a local, regional or national. Be honest at this point, because if it is to be national, then prepare yourself for more time and effort to make this a success.
Your print media list should compile of daily newspapers, magazines, trade media publications, and association newsletters. Keep in mind that broadcast media (television and radio) will have varied lengths and formats, so be specific which ones you target for publicity.
Ok, now it’s time that you look at the story or release you want to present. Make sure it is not a waste of the editors’ time. Don’t make the story or press release sound like a sales pitch. And don’t provide PowerPoint presentations to them. Remember, the editors and writers have a job. It is to provide interesting and compelling stories to their readers. Do this test, have someone not in your company read your story. If that person doesn’t understand what you are saying, or is bored easily, then consider revising the story to be more interesting. Don’t get caught up on details of the product, or service. Talk about the benefits of what it will offer to the reader.
Before you mail, or send the story or press release go back and review the media list. This time check the publications editorial calendar. See if your story will fit into an upcoming feature in that publication. This will help get the attention of the editor faster than unrelated stories. If you do not see anything that will fit, then write a short cover letter that will briefly explain the enclosed story. Follow-up by phone a few days later is recommended. Only ask if they received your story, don’t try to pitch them on the phone.
These are some of the basics to help you get free publicity. Next time I will provide tips on presenting your story.