Recession-Proof Your Business:
Publicity is the Key
By Pam Lontos
If you’re thinking of cutting your business’ publicity during
these tough economic times, think again. It’s times like this that
you have to get your company’s name out there more than ever.
Consider the ingenious marketing move made by the Wrigley
Company in the 1940s. During World War II, the company couldn’t get
the necessary ingredients to continue making their chewing gum. So
they stopped production of all their product lines. However, even
though they had no product to sell, they continued their
advertising, with the “Remember this Wrapper” campaign. After the
war ended and ingredients were plentiful again, they resumed
production of their chewing gums and quickly regained and even
exceeded their pre-war popularity, while much of their competition
went out of business.
To put it in perspective, the Wrigley Company maintained top
of mind awareness with their customers, even during a difficult
time. That’s exactly what your business must do to succeed in
“But I can’t afford a big advertising campaign,” you may be
thinking. Even if you’re working with a small budget these days and
advertising isn’t possible, you can get great results with some
carefully planned publicity. Remember that during a recession, the
competition between businesses is greater than ever. Publicity helps
you get that extra celebrity and credibility so you can stand out.
Additionally, you want to keep up the momentum from your
current publicity efforts. If you stop marketing your business and
try to resume once the recession is over, you’ll be essentially
starting from scratch. That’s a tough place for any company to be.
You’ll be forgotten.
Here are a few suggestions to keep your publicity efforts
going strong, even during difficult economic times.
media that you have something to offer by sending out press
releases. Press releases are also a good method for getting your
product or service reviewed in publications. Watch the breaking
news, and if something ties to your business, send a press
release to the newspapers, radio and television shows, and
magazines offering your take as an expert to interview about the
When you see
something in the news that you have a strong opinion about,
write a short op-ed piece and send it to the newspapers. Op-ed
stands for “opposite editorial,” referring to the page facing
the editorial page – the page on which the newspaper publishes
its own institutional statement of opinion. Even if your view is
controversial, don’t be afraid to put it out there. Controversy
Smart company presidents and business owners know they must
constantly stay in the public’s eye. Getting published in a
magazine, trade journal, or local newspaper is an excellent way
to keep the company’s name circulating throughout the general
public and to enable the company leader or business owner to
become perceived as an expert. When prospects and current
customers see that your company leaders have an impressive list
of published pieces, they’ll consider you an industry leader and
will want to do business with you.
expert source for newspaper and magazine writers in your area.
E-mail or call the editors to find out what stories they’re
working on. If you can provide information or insight on any of
the topics, offer it freely so you can get quoted. Whenever you
have an article or show idea, call the appropriate media
personnel and present your topic. Ask questions such as, “What
are your readers (or viewers or listeners) looking for?” “What
are you looking for?” and “What angle do you want the
story to take?”
media marketing (SMM) to promote your business online. These
days, SMM is a vital and inexpensive part of any marketing
campaign. SMM helps you get your business’ name out to the
masses quicker and easier than ever before. Create profiles for
your business on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Plaxo and
interact with potential clients.
The bottom line is
your business needs to be out there all the time to maintain
top-of-mind awareness. Granted, you may need to trim your
advertising expenses, but publicity is an inexpensive way to keep
yourself in front of your clients. And since many of your
competitors will cut back on marketing now, by staying strong and
true to your course, you will stand out, especially as the
competition thins out.
competition between businesses today, you need to show why you are
the best in your field. Credibility does that for you, and promoting
your business with public relations builds that credibility. You
never want people to think, “What ever happened to (your
business)….” Maintaining your publicity efforts prevents that from
happening and helps you get business – even in tough times!
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