How To Use Publicity for Marketing Your Business

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Publicity is a crucial and sometimes overlooked tool of creative selling; and a less expensive way of reaching your audience than advertising. With the inherent third-party endorsement of the media implied in every editorial story, a news or feature during a newspaper, magazine, or on television or radio, is an infinitely more credibly-perceived communications message than a billboard or commercial. Publicists less frequently are favored with news stories. they’re more often tasked with getting “softer” news and have stories on-air or in print. Here are some techniques involving creative conceptualization and application – what I call CREATIVE FORMATTING – and that they work very effectively when carefully thought-through and constructed.

1 – Use News to form News.

When you prepare a handout or pitch letter, keep the subsequent editorial criteria in mind:
* Relevance (how valid and appropriate is that this story?)
* Impact (does this story affect an outsized number of people?)
* Timeliness (is the story current?)
* Novelty (does the story have an unusual or unique twist to it?)

Your topic should tie in with current news issues and/or subjects that concern the general public . In my earlier p.r. days, I promoted one product by showing how it might be wont to the advantage of a selected item of the day. during this case, the difficulty was government waste. Revelations were surfacing that various federal agencies were buying products at absurd prices above retail: you’ll remember $500 toilet seats and $75 rulers. The American taxpayer was being seriously abused by bureaucratic waste.

Our client was a publisher that had just begin with a directory for buyers at government agencies. The directory listed major manufacturers everywhere the country who weren’t within the business of ripping off Uncle Sam . The directory was distributed to the agencies freed from charge. The publisher made its money by selling ad pages to companies who wanted to draw in the eye of those buying officials.

We attracted a big amount of publicity by telling editors that the publisher had come up with a partial solution to the matter of wasteful government spending. The story was picked up by the wire services and nationally syndicated TV newscasts.

2 – Seasonal Tie-ins

News editors are always trying to find feature stories that tie in with holiday or seasonal happenings. I remember a really successful campaign for a manufacturer of meter equipment. Eight weeks before Christmas, we convinced the manufacturer to designate a vacation Consumer Affairs Specialist who could mention “everything you wanted to understand about mailing gifts for the vacations .”

Between Thanksgiving and yuletide , we arranged dozens of phone interviews with reporters at large radio stations in major markets. the corporate was plugged in every interview and therefore the entire campaign tied-in with a serious catalogue and in-store p.o.p. merchandising campaign. Sometimes, an ingenious p.r. idea can pave the way for a strategic marketing campaign.

Another successful campaign tied in with the arrival of winter and escalating fuel prices thanks to a world oil crisis. one among our clients manufactured a draft sealer, an easy rubber plug that fit into electrical wall outlets. The sealer kept cold outside air from coming into the house and kept warm air inside from leaking out. Consumers could economize on their fuel bills. We convinced the Today Show to try to to a live five minute segment on a replacement energy-saving device for the house .

3 – Products Are Newsworthy once they Are Evolutionary or Revolutionary

On Sunday, May 29, 1994, we generated a story within the Business Section of the ny Times on a replacement quite paper that changed color upon the touch of the hand. We knew the story had merit, because the merchandise represents a revolutionary breakthrough in paper goods.
Several years ago, a replacement product created by a camera manufacturer, a moment slide processor that develops slides in seconds, represented an evolutionary intensify in instant photography. We offered morning , America a primary exclusive on the announcement, and that we convinced the show’s producers to possess host Joan Lunden demonstrate the merchandise sleep in a five minute segment. the merchandise sold out nationally.

4 – Anniversaries

If the merchandise is significant to the American way of life, the media might click with a suggestion for a story on a serious anniversary of the merchandise . This includes biggies like television, radio, refrigerators and cars all the thanks to such mundane indispensables as zippers and toothpaste.

Other kinds of anniversaries work too. During the centennial celebrations for the Statue of Liberty, we convinced Kelloggs to sponsor a campaign that publicized the closest living relative to the person who designed and built Lady Liberty. This included the scripting and shooting of a video news feature story for television newscasts round the country, and our pickup was enormous–including some very nice positive image reinforcement for Kelloggs.

5 – Controlled Messages

A controlled message may be a message that you simply prepare beforehand and place with various media as a finished product. once we promoted a book that became a serious bestseller called Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive by Harvey Mackay, we employed variety of techniques that come under this category.

Three samples of this system are the video news feature, matted columns for suburban newspapers, and by-lined articles for specialised trade publications.

A video news feature is just a 90-second to two-minute news piece that gets scripted, shot and distributed to newscasts round the country. The local newscast incorporates the piece as a part of its news coverage, and therefore the average viewer has no idea these stories are supplied by outside sources.

A matted column is just a one-column or two-column story that’s sent to suburban news weeklies as camera-ready copy. they do not need to edit it or prepare it for print. The column usually offers some quite consumer advice, with a discreet yet effective plug within the story.
Vertical trade publications are magazines that are published for a selected audience or industry. many them are published monthly . Years ago, we ghosted by-lined articles for the president of a corporation that analyzed utility rates for other companies, showing them the way to save thousands of dollars per annum . These articles were placed with dozens of magazines that catered to a spread of industries. This campaign was the company’s sole marketing vehicle for several years.

6 – Trends

When one among our clients, a serious photography magazine, needed to extend its exposure, we designed a segment on The Today Show during which one among the magazine’s editors brought the very latest camera equipment to the program. For seven minutes, he demonstrated the foremost current camera technology to many viewers. He also achieved some substantial awareness for his magazine.

Another client, the Magazine Publishers Association, was curious about increasing recognition. They wanted to determine the very fact that magazines are at the vanguard of creative advertising communication. We designed a segment on The Today Show that displayed the newest in pop-up ads in various magazines.

In another situation, a German beer company wanted to extend sales within the USA. the corporate turned to us, asking us to extend their name recognition with a publicity program rather than advertising. The built-in challenge was that little or no are often done editorially for alcoholic beverages. the answer was to seem for secondary uses which might nonetheless position the beer during a meaningful and positive way.

We convinced a well known German restaurant to develop dishes prepared with beer as an ingredient. We invited the whole national food press to a Cooking With Beer Festival. The food writers for each major magazine and newspaper attended. Media coverage was staggering. Many products are often utilized in special publicity events. By promoting indirectly, sponsors can reap media coverage.

POSITIVE PUBLICITY SELLS. an ingenious publicity program are often a strong tool for selling your product or service. Publicity efforts are often less expensive than traditional advertising. Plus, they pack more power because the publicity comes from recognized media sources rather than from your company. This increases consumer confidence and promotes a positive public image. the top results of creative publicity is an increased awareness that draws potential customers.

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