Publicity is not generic

If you received a birthday gift from someone that said "to whom it may concern", or Occupant", you would probably dismiss the gift and be rather upset with the sender.

Well, if that were true, why would you send a publicity release, or a press kit and address a reporter in an email with a generic "subject" title? The best way to have press releases, or pitching a story viewed is to personalize it to the reporter, or publisher. Yes, this takes more time but the rewards to get published are greater.

Your public relations campaign should appear more personalized to the recipient. This means more than the name of the reporter or editor or publisher’s name on the envelope, or email address. Just as you would send a gift and personalize a note on the card, why not do the same to that media contact? If you have to ask why, then you obliviously are not getting the message I am making.

All industries are hit with hundreds of pubic relations agencies sending out thousands of releases every day. To make you stand out, use a personalized cover letter (do this even when sending it as an email), include good photos that tell or describe what the release is about, and make the press release, or story be informative, not a sales pitch.

These are just a few tips for any public relations person to follow. If you are a pr client, then make sure the people who implement your publicity campaign use these tips wisely.

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Know your prospect and know the media

How many times do you or other companies you know ask their sales people to make cold calls. Or tell them it’s a numbers game. The more calls you make, the more chances you have in getting a sale.

This is a bad method to doing business. Because the reality is that you loose more prospects and probably don’t get past your 5 seconds of intro before the person on the other end hangs up on you. Also, you are wasting a lot of hours making calls that may never buy from you.

This can be compared to publicity. It isn’t a numbers game in sending out a flood of press releases to media that are not interested in your product or service. Be selective. Know your media. Contact the reporter, the publisher and send them a press kit with a cover letter. You can do this as an email if the publication you are contacting accepts this form of communication.

By choosing a limited number of cold calls that you have identified, you should know about that prospects company, the products they are already buying (from you or a competitor), know what they need then make your call. And that call should start off with a question. Asking them to help you with a problem. Make it relate to their situation and your product or service.

This may not be exactly the way to make a call to the media. But think about it, you call them not knowing anything about the publication, or you haven’t done your homework to see if your product or service will be a featured subject a few issues from now, or maybe it already has been written about.

Contacting the media is not a numbers game, nor should your sales department think it is either.

Target marketing is the best solution and that applies to your publicity as well.

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