free publicity free publicity Archives - CarsonPR

Another “Publicity is Everywhere Series”

Starting a new business can be difficult and sometimes very challenging when you are in a “me-too” industry. What if you started a unique business and got a lot of free publicity. Was the business started because of a need, or because it could generate a lot of publicity? Let memarketing and publicity strategy tell you about a story that appeared in a recent issue of Inc magazine. Then you decide if it was a pr marketing strategy or a campaign for a business really needed.

The company is called SpotScout. What makes this business unique..it is an online company that helps find “Parking spots for drivers”. Yes, the company makes available what parking garages, private spaces, and on-street parking spots are available. The company, SpotScout focuses his business in congested markets such as New York City, Boston and San Francisco.

Publicity Strategy or Marketing?
Is this for real? According to the many agreements the company has, which is over a few hundred arrangements with commercial garages and even private spaces advertised by people offering their driveways or garage, it seems so. Now what do you think, is this a publicity stunt to draw attention to a possible new business venture, or someone wanting and finding a solution to congested parking?

No matter your thoughts, it is an excellent pr marketing strategy that is getting a lot of publicity. The company has been mentioned in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Financial Times among many others.

Who knows, it may not be long before you start seeing signs above people’s cars when parked that read “Parking Spot For Sale/lease”. Do you get the feeling that our major cities are becoming so overcrowded that we are now looking to sell our parking spot? Maybe it is time to consider moving to the suburbs and take a train, or bus to get around in the metro cities.

PR Clients need to look at their web site for media attention and traffic

Publicity, publicity! All you want is some FREE pr, but your pr agency is just not getting the job done–as least you don’t feel they are.
Get more PR, Get Noticed!
If you want to get attention, then consider using your web site. This can be a powerful source to building a company’s image, establish a position in the market and can generate massive awareness. How? I’m glad you asked.

Whether you are a pr agency, or if you are a pr client who handles all publicity activity in-house, then it’s time to put some serious action in making your web site become part of the publicity team.

There are some current changes in SEO’s (search engine optimization) that are making it more difficult for company’s to get listed, but at the same time, it has opened a wide door for publicity.

Remember when I spoke about keywords? Well, I did. The fact remains that if done correctly, you can get your web site listed at the top of any category your company is doing business. Yes, I can assure you this is possible. We have been working with several SEO people and have tested and re-tested our secret strategies and it has worked every time.

If your publicity agency isn’t performing, or you’re a pr client who just needs some outside objectivity, give us a call. We have the secret tools to get your company at the top, which will get media attention as well as making it easier for reporters, editors, and publishers to find you. So give us a call.

We are not going to offer this to every company, so call to see if you qualify.

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Get creative and break out of the publicity box

Whether you are a pr client or a publicity agency looking for a new slant on an article, try re-thinking how you approach a topic or subject.

We all tend to get into this hole of doing the same type od releases, articles for pr clients. Everyone wants publicity people to be creative, think of a new angle or invent a story for the media. Well, that isn’t always the best way to gain favorable publicity.

articles and stories for publicationWe need to think outside of the publicity box. A good article that addresses this issue is called "How to get Free publicity for small businesses". The author has some good tips to help you think outside of that box. For example, ask your customers (in a survey) that include some controversial questions. This can spark a topic of interest for your industry to get your company an article published.

A few other tips include:

  • Create a top 10 list within your industry. If you have a bakery, or food manufacturer, do a "Top 10 of the most wildest food items made"
  • Offer surprising facts about your industry or business. For instance, if you’re a recruitment firm write an article titled, "The Average Starting Salary of An MBA Graduate is 40 percent Higher Than Their Pre-MBA Earnings."
  • Be first to offer something that no one else has in your industry. Such as a 200% double your money back guarantee. Make sure your product or service is really good.
  • Do you participate in any local charities, or events. Try closing your office for the entire day and have everyone work for that charity. This can be a great headline "Local Print Shop Closed Doors to Help the Needy".

Ok, now you try it, get creative, break out of the rut.

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Ask for help

If you have a unique product or a gimmick that needs to get publicity, think about asking for help. The kind of help in this case is not asking your publicity agency, or pr staff to do a lot, just have them send a press release to post that asks for publicity ideas to market the product.

Sounds like free ideas and publicity? It is. Just look at what a couple of attorneys did to market a new watch. The short article which was on Publicity Hound’s Blog this week had a posting of a watch that has the dials divided into six-minute-increments, that is how attorney’s bill you!

The frightening thing is a lot of people posted ideas telling them it was a great way to sell these to other industries.

Granted, it doesn’t take a lot of creativity to see the potential of the market.

What was interesting to me, that people were willing to offer suggestions. Plus, these people and many others reading the blogs  were probably telling their friends about this legal type of watch. That my friends is FREE publicity.

True, this will not work for all products or in most markets. But it shows you that with a little creative thought you can get publicity for most anything, even something as NOT unique as a watch.

Think about it, when was the last time a publication ran a press release on a common item as a watch? Remember, this watch isn’t a unique design, or runs on solar, or has special rings…it’s just an ordinary watch with the dials (the face) broken into six-minute segments. Incredible, but that’s publicity.

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How to get the most of a PR campaign

GET US FREE PUBLICITY!

These are the words we hear most often from clients. So how Free is it?

Publicity is a powerful method for getting your message to potential customers, but only when you know what you are doing.

Remember, nothing is free. If you have an in-house person, you are paying for that pr director, or manager to spend the time to write, distribute and meet with reporters.

Hiring a publicity firm has basically the same costs.
When you place an ad into a publication, or run a spot on radio or TV, those are controlled forms of media which can become costly for smaller companies.

When you get a release or article published, in comparison, it didn’t cost anything to have that visibilty in that, or those media. The cost was in the preliminary stages of developing the article and getting it to the right media.

Knowing how to write an article, or a press release (these require different writings) is critical of getting something published. Reporters and editors want to publish stories of interest and be informative for their audience.

I spoke about distribution before. This is also important. Shot gun mailing to all media will not do you any good. Targeting specific media will help to control the distribution and makes follow up more productive. Use the Internet news media whenever possible. Here you can modify the press release or articles and use keywords in the body of the information. Using a professional pr firm can help a public relations campaign become more successful, because they have the contacts and knowledge to get these published.

Bottom line. Is publicity free? I guess It all depends on what you consider free.

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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.

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