Seven Public Relations Secrets that Get Your
By Pam Lontos
Publicity can come from anywhere, and in many different forms. It
can be as simple as having a letter published in the editorial
column of your local paper, or as dynamic as having a front-page
article with your name splashed across the headlines. But a
successful publicity campaign is harder than you may think. It takes
huge effort on your part to get your business noticed by the media.
bother? Is publicity really that important? Yes, yes … a thousand
times, yes! The effectiveness of your publicity campaign will
ultimately determine the success of your business. Publicity
increases your sales without the outrageous cost of advertising. It
adds credibility to your message and develops name recognition in
your field. Essentially, publicity makes you stand out, above all
the other businesses, to the buying public.
don't have to be a public relations expert to maximize the results
of your publicity campaign. Use the following trade secrets to
increase your visibility and sell more of your product or service:
Get to Know Your Audience: According to a survey conducted by
Jericho Communications, the typical Fortune 1000 CEO is more likely
to have watched The Simpsons than to have watched all three
presidential debates. So, what does this mean for your publicity?
Simple, it means that you can't make assumptions about your
Understanding your audience and what appeals to them is important if
you want to get noticed. Keep in mind that you have a variety of
different tastes that go beyond your work, and so does everyone
else. Figure out what magazines your audience reads and what shows
they watch, then you read and watch the same things.
Create News: By familiarizing yourself with popular publications
within your audience, you should gain an understanding of what
issues are important to them and what interests them. Understand
what they find newsworthy, and develop your publicity around these
issues. Tie your topic to current events and target your audience
directly when you pitch stories.
example, if your business focuses on home organization, you can
reach a business audience for "Clean Off Your Desk Day." Or, if you
help businesses implement time management strategies in the
workplace, you can reach an at-home audience with an article on how
to tackle the home improvements you started, but never completed.
Don't be afraid to stretch the boundaries of your topic. And
remember, create news that interests your audience, not that
Send Press Releases: Press releases are the easiest and quickest
ways to advertise to a large audience, and they inform the media
that you have something to offer. 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
your press releases a professional look by using a letterhead. Keep
them short (two pages maximum), and double space if possible. Direct
it to a specific reporter or editor to make sure it doesn't get lost
in the stacks, and always use a slant aimed at the publication's or
show's audience. And perhaps most important, don't forget your
Develop a Winning Media Kit: As you approach the different media
outlets, you'll need to send them a media kit. Think of your media
kit as your resume; it tells the media professionals about you and
your business. A professional media kit should include your short
bio, a summary of your product or service, and your contact
information. Also include sample questions about your topic that the
writer or host can use during the interview. Put all this
information together in a professional folder, and present it to
media professionals before interviews.
Solve Your Contact's Problems: When it comes to stories, each
reporter and producer has a unique personality and unique needs. If
you can figure out what they want, you make their job much easier.
And when you make a media professional's job easier, they will come
back to you for more quotes and more interviews. So ask them what
other stories they're working on, and for what other publications
they write. Ask how you can help them and what other topics they'd
like to see. Let the reporter, editor, or producer know that you
care about their stories and their audience because in the end,
you'll both look good.
Establish working relationships with media professionals and develop
strong contacts for increased publicity. Learn everything you can
about the show or publication, and about their competition, so you
can really make them shine.
Give a Great Interview: Do you know what it's like to talk to a
boring person? They drone on for hours about topics that don't
interest you, and all you can think about is getting rid of them.
Keep this in mind when you talk to the media, because if you're
boring, they won't want to talk with you ever again. But if you have
energy and keep your responses on the topic, you'll keep the media
the interview, take time to prepare three to five main points you'd
like to cover. Then if the conversation goes astray, you can revert
back to these points with ease. Also, don't be pushy about what you
want. They may or may not have room in their story to mention your
product or service. But if you ask nicely, you'll have a better
chance of getting it mentioned.
Follow up: Once you've established contact with media
professionals, maintain the relationships and follow up for more
exposure. Avoid nagging with "did you decide yet" calls, but do ask
when the article will be published or when the show will air. Maybe
you can offer a new bit of information in your follow-up call. And
remember to reintroduce yourself, because reporters and producers
talk to many different people every day.
important aspect of follow-up and common courtesy is a thank-you
note. These added touches of consideration let the media
professionals know that you appreciate them and make them want to
work with you again in the future.
the Public Relations Secrets to Success: A successful publicity
campaign is hard work, but it doesn't have to be excruciating. When
you understand your readers and their interests, then target the
publications and shows with a slant directed to the needs of their
audience, you position yourself for maximum exposure. By using a
professional approach and media kit, the media will take notice.
Develop strong working relationships with media professionals, and
you will get more quotes and interviews. Give a great interview,
then follow-up with the reporter or producer to show your
Publicity is the key to increasing your bottom line. Now you don't
have to be a public relations pro to make the most of your media
exposure. With these seven secrets, you can maximize your public
relations success and secure free publicity for your product or
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