Public relations is about identifying your unique angle and expertise. You are the news! You are an expert. In the public relations arena, your job is to define and communicate your expertise.
One of my clients is an industrial designer for corporations. That’s interesting but not exciting. It turns out he runs a very successful company through the principles of virtual corporation. We presented him as an expert on the topic of virtual corporation which is much more interesting from a media perspective. His story has caught the attention of the media and he has been featured nationally as well as locally in newspapers, radio and television. You too can use public relations to catapult your business into the pubic eye. The following are seven key points to powerful public relations!
1. Public relations = human relations. When you walk out your door, you are doing public relations. Everybody knows somebody and it’s important to understand that you always represent your business no matter where you are. Carry business cards everywhere and make a good impression. Develop and maintain relationships.
2. Who Are You…in 30 Seconds or less. Know who you are and who your public is. What is your story. If Oprah had you on her show, what would you say in 30 seconds to the audience. Before you relate to your public, you must know who you are and be able to define your business concisely. Always be ready with a 30 second introduction. Say your business, your name, and let your listeners know a benefit of doing business with you.
3. Who is your audience…are you on target? Write down five audiences you can do business with. The universe is one of your audiences, but they are very expensive to market to. Think of your audience in terms of geography and demographics. Perhaps your audience is right in your neighborhood or maybe are national in scope. Don’t forget to list the media as one of your audiences.
4. Your Image…go for the guts. Tell your story. Why would someone want to do business with you? Sometimes you will have to reposition yourself, similar to our expert on virtual corporations noted above. Find out what makes you the most interesting and relates to the largest number of people. Tell your story in relation to the impact you’ve had on other’s lives, or how your product has made a difference.
5. Your Press Release…Grab em’ Fast. The press release answers how, what, where, when and why of who you are or why someone should be interested. Start with an exciting lead paragraph. Include a fact or statistic if possible. Media people don’t often read beyond the first paragraph. If the press release iswell-written, concise and contains good information, your chances of getting published are dramatically increased.
6. Your Media List…It’s a Numbers Game, Find The Needle in the Haystack. Once you write a press release, it is sent to a researched media list. Blanket the media with your press lease. Have as many names as possible that are relevant to your topic including business editors, features editors, columnists, and producers. The point is to find key people relevant to your business and industry.
7. Your Magic Formula…Follow up, follow-up and follow-up. The press release must be followed up with a phone call. Do not send a fax unless the media contact is expecting it. They are looking for maximum appeal and topical stories. Have alternative pitches ready in case your media contact doesn’t like the first one. Call and leave messages letting them know specifically what you are calling about. “Hi this is Jill and I am calling about the press release on Jane’s company: Better Business Now.. Their topic is…” Be precise and to the point in your phone message.
The media is accessible. We create stories. What you hear and read in the news is about people like you and me. Read the newspaper you will be calling, watch the television show, listen to the radio program. Stay informed to see where you can fit in to make some news of your own!
Jill Lublin is a public relations/marketing consultant and owner of Promising Promotion. She has worked with small to medium businesses, as well as with workshop leaders, international authors and products. Jill’s clients have been featured nationally and internationally in all avenues of media including radio, television and newspapers. Jill is the author of the audio tape: Insider’s Edge to Publicity. She speaks and trains nationally on the topic of public relations. For more information, call 415-883-JILL(5455) or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.jilllublin.com