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The Four Questions I Know You Really
Want To Ask Me....Answered!

Can I really get publicity on my own?

No, you cannot. You see, the secrets of getting publicity are handed down from ancient sages by select teachers (called "PR Masters") in hidden monasteries high in the Himalayas. In order for mere mortals to access these secrets they must pay large sums of money to enlightened beings (called "PR Agencies") to conduct this work.

Well, at least that's how people at PR agencies see it.

The reality, of course, is that anyone with a story to tell can get publicity. It's not hard, per se, but it takes some determination, some effort and a willingness to learn. In other words, it's just like everything else in the business world.

Why should I bother with publicity? Can't I just buy lots of advertising?

As important as advertising is to a marketing program, it cannot replace publicity. The reasons:

  • Credibility: Advertising is clearly understood by the audience as coming directly from the sponsoring business and, as a result, is usually taken with a grain of salt. An article initiated (or "placed") by publicity efforts is viewed as the product of the reporter who wrote it - an objective, third party observer whose positive comments about your business will carry great weight.

 

      
  • Cost: A big advantage - advertising space costs money, publicity space is free. Plus, publicity helps extend your advertising dollars by reinforcing ad messages.
     
  • Crisis: In business, things don't always go as planned. Product recalls, tampering, theft, financial crises and other unhappy events do happen. An active free publicity operation allows you to respond quickly and efficiently.
     
  • Chronic Ad Fatigue: If you're like me, you are sick, sick, sick of advertising. It's everywhere you turn, online and off. For me, those cruel ad boys crossed the line when they stuck advertising on the wall behind home plate at Yankee Stadium (is nothing sacred anymore?). Consumers have responded in the only way they can -- they're tuning it out. Look at what a flop banner advertising has been on the net. Web surfers are ignoring banners in droves. Instead, they're moved only by one thing......
     
  • Content: People don't want ads, they want information! And when you generate free publicity, you're telling your story as part of a newspaper article, a television news story, a magazine feature or a radio interview. In other words, you're in the place where people are actually looking, not ignoring.

Is my company/website/life really newsworthy?

Doesn't it amaze you that the media continues to report on every move Elizabeth Taylor makes? The woman hasn't made a movie in what, 25 years? And yet, every time she exhales, I have to read about it in my newspaper.

So look at it this way -- if the media can find space on an almost daily basis for someone who hasn't done anything interesting since the Ford administration, they sure as heck can give you a plug or two.

It just takes a little "out of the box" thinking to uncover the trigger that will make an editor sit up and take notice.

Based on my experience, I developed a list of questions I always asked new clients. Invariably, we managed to extract a bunch of good story angles from the answers. So ask yourself these things -- and be honest. Don't just give the usual myopic corporate-speak answers businesses do.

Take the first question, for example. "What makes your business different from the competition?" A typical corporate answer would be "Because we're committed to quality". That's garbage speak. However, "Because we serve a niche that no one else does" is the basis for a strong story angle.

OK, here we go:

  • What makes your business different from the competition?
  • How is your product or service better than the rest?
  • Are you using techniques or procedures that are new? Exciting? Out of the ordinary?
  • Do you have something controversial or provocative to say about your field? About the local business community? About how best to serve customers?
  • Are there any colorful "characters" associated with your business? Tom Purdue, Orville Redenbacher and Lee Iacocca didn't become famous by accident. The news media loves offbeat business people.
  • Is your business associated with philanthropic causes? Are you helping local charities or schools in unusual ways? Are you involved in worthwhile community projects?

And these are just for starters. In time, you'll discover that there are many things about your business that could interest a journalist. You just need to know how to develop them, package them and present them in the right way.

Gee, if only someone would start a website and newsletter to teach people how to do that.......

What Are You Selling?

Cynical bugger, aren't you? Why can't a man just start a website to help humanity, to bring joy to his fellow man, to serve a higher purpose?

Oh, wait, I am selling something. Sorry about that.

It's my brand spanking new newsletter called Free Publicity. If you like all the cool insider info I'm giving away for free on the website and in the eZine, wait until you get a load of the knowledge I'm ready to deliver when you pay me!

Seriously, Free Publicity is the culmination of my experience as a publicist. I'm pouring everything I know -- all my tricks, all my passion, all my drive -- into making it the most useful publicity & public relations publication ever created for the entrepreneur and small businessperson. Do give it a try -- it's absolutely risk free and it can change the course of your business forever. I'm sure you'll be glad you did.
 


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