Publicity can be the “key to the kingdom” for you and your business. Just think of what happens when Oprah mentions a book on her show, or when the local newspaper writes a story about a local business. Sales skyrocket... much more than if you had bought advertising in the same media outlet.
Why the phenomenon with publicity? It’s a third-party endorsement that’s raving about you... rather than yourself. And, there’s instant credibility to have your name in the press, especially in our media-driven society. I know from personal experience that saying I was in Entrepreneur Magazine and appeared on Making IT TV (a few of my media appearances) separates me from the rest. Media exposure is becoming a necessity for entrepreneurs in today’s world.
Here are the top 5 tips I’ve learned about getting publicity:
1. Use Sound BitesThe average amount of time you have to catch the attention of the media is about 20 seconds if you’re talking. If you’re contacting them via email you have 2 lines... your subject line and the opening line of your email. That’s it. What does this mean to you? You’ve got to learn how to powerfully communicate who you are, your expertise and how the media can use you in a matter of seconds. This is what’s called a “sound bite” and you’ll see/hear them all over the media. Pay attention to newspapers and television and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Everything is succinct and to the point.
2. Know The Media You’re PitchingThe most common issue the media has with the pitches they receive is the person pitching them doesn’t know their publication or show. For instance, if your topic is about Dating, but you contact Family Circle magazine with a pitch, they’ll throw it out because Family Circle is about families... not the dating scene. On the other hand if you’re a therapist specializing in keeping harmony at home, Family Circle may be a great outlet for you. Always know your media. Writers, producers and hosts want nothing more than to feel like you understand what they put on/in their publications and shows.
3. Make It Easy For ThemDo as much as you can to make your pitch complete. So, once you get the media’s attention using a great sound bite (more on that in the next tip) and they’re asking you more questions, make it easy for them. Have other experts lined up who would complement your pitch, or would appear on a show with you as a case study of what you’re talking about. Tell them exactly what photos or video footage would go along with your idea. It’s YOUR job to make THEIR job easier. Providing them with the “whole enchilada” will help you stand out from the crowd... and get more media coverage.
4. Have A Good HookJust like a book gets judged by its cover, a media pitch gets judged by its hook. A “hook” is the succinct one-liner that communicates what you’re pitching. Steve Harrison has a great exercise for this; he calls it “...and, coming up next”. Pretend you are trying to get on TV, what would the host of the show say after ”... and, coming up next”? You’ve got about 10 words that follow this phrase. And, that’s your hook. Practice your hook over and over again, and have several of them ready to go depending on the media you’re pitching (see tip #2).
5.Be An ExpertKnow your stuff. The media can tell if you’re not really an expert. So, how can you showcase your expertise? Here are three ways to get started: 1) Answer their questions quickly. When you quickly respond without hesitation or “um’s and ah’s” it shows your confidence in what you’re talking about. 2) Show or send them your book along with your pitch. I couldn’t believe how interested the media were in my book. Not that they cared about the specific subject; they just wanted to know I was an AUTHOR. 3) Don’t fake it if you don’t know an answer. Simply say “I don’t’ know, but I’d be happy to do some research to get you an answer.” The media appreciate honesty, rather than being misled. Plus, this gives you a great reason to follow-up with them, once you’ve got the answers they were looking for.
Bonus Tip: PR LeadsIf you want to have media leads coming straight to YOUR inbox, rather than having to chase them down, check outwww.ChristineKloser.com/PRLeads. It’s the fastest, easiest and most economical way to get publicity.
Media exposure is a valuable asset to every business owner. To make sure you put your best foot forward (the first time) follow these tips exactly and you’ll be surprised at the results you get.
© 2007 Christine Kloser
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