And 3 myths about the practice I’m going bust.
I believe publicity is worth the investment, if the coverage is relevant to your brand, if it appears in the right media outlets and you earn enough frequency.
As a small business owner and entrepreneur for nearly 28 years, I’ve been very fortunate to have earned a lot of media exposure in my career. I’ve been on Bloomberg radio and TV, CBS’s The Early Show. I’m a regular guest on FOX TV, I’ve been featured in Fast Company, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Miami Herald and Entrepreneurial Magazine just to name a few. This media coverage or publicity has directly made deposits in my bank account. I’ve gotten speaking gigs, consulting assignments and sold books. But let me bust a few myths about this powerful practice, too.
1) Publicity is free.
Not true. Sure every now and then a company gets a call from a media source and it didn’t cost much, but some good luck and timing, and a nice feature story appeared. However in most cases, earning publicity takes time and money. Whether it’s hiring a professional PR firm, a writer or communication planner to craft to your message and or PR materials, or just the expense of getting your news out through buying lists or postage. It’s not free.
2) All publicity is good publicity.
Not true. In the mid 90’s one of my clients was involved in an FBI investigation. As a vendor, my company was dragged through this mud even through we had nothing to do with the crimes in question. This was very unfortunate and did not help my business. If fact, the negative publicity through pure association with the company hurt my business.
Additionally, when an executive or employee stays something off message or stupid, this can dramatically impact the image of the brand.
3) Hiring a big name, expensive PR firm will guarantee you publicity.
Not true. In addition to working the media myself, I’ve engaged PR firms for fees of $500.00 to $15,000 a month. There is no correlation between fees and success. The magic sauce is the degree of contact with media that means something to your business, the real news you have to share and timing. If you are a small company there are many things you can do to get publicity all by yourself. I created a TA-DO list of getting publicity. These tasks and methods have worked for me and can work for you, without investing a boatload of cash. It’s not free it will take some time and strategic actions.
In the Publicity TA-DO list you’ll learn about
- A free daily service that features what reporters are looking for and how to connect with them
- What’s needed in your press kit
- And the BIG “never-dos” when you are building a relationship with a reporter
Beyond, my tips in the Publicity TA-DO list, PR Newswire, one of our partners has some great publicity insight on messaging, release distribution and campaign analytics. They’ve put together a special PR toolkit of discounts and resources for the Oddpodz community. I’ve been a customer of PR Newswire for my companies and my clients. They have been a valuable resource for media lists, distribution and competitive monitoring issues. This is worth checking out.
In closing, publicity should be part of every company’s marketing mix. It is a great way to further position a brand as an authority in their industry, leverage third-party opinions and provide repurposeable content for search engine optimization.