I Wish I Had Done This Sooner

I Wish I Had Done This Sooner

As our team sat down for a brainstorming session this week, talk gravitated toward exciting news for one of our clients. We had arranged an interview for him in a national newspaper and he was elated. It was just the latest in a string of successes for him. “I wish I had done this sooner!” he told one of our print campaign managers. We were just as elated because not that long ago this same client had been hesitant about whether launching a national publicity campaign was the right move for him. Now he recognizes the value, is fired up by his success, and knows absolutely that the decision to build his authority by being spotlighted in the media was the right thing for him. Our conversation about this client got me thinking. There’s no doubt that building your authority as a thought leader and having a strong media presence can play a significant role in your overall professional success. But how do you know if a publicity campaign is the right move for you? Here are some things to consider: Be ready to step outside your comfort zone. Are you willing to step from the shadows out into the media spotlight to build that authority? For some people, the idea of doing a live TV or radio interview, or speaking with a journalist from the New York Times or USA Today, can be daunting. I understand! Think of it this way, though. A media interview may be new territory for you but you’ll be asked questions on a subject that’s within your expertise and one you’re presumably passionate...
How To Respond When The Social Media World Gets Unpleasant

How To Respond When The Social Media World Gets Unpleasant

Most of you are fully aware by now that social media plays a significant role in building your authority as a thought leader and expert in your field. One of social media’s great advantages over traditional media is that you get to control your message to an extent you can’t when you’re being interviewed by a print journalist, a talk radio host or a TV show host. With social media, there is no media “gatekeeper” standing between you and your audience. That’s the good news! But, as wonderful as social media is for promoting your brand, it does present its own treacherous pitfalls. A particularly onerous drawback is that your social media followers can post responses to your posts that are, shall we say, less than ideal! That happened just this week to one of our clients when one of her Twitter followers suggested quite publicly and forcefully that she quit posting about one subject (business culture) and write about a different subject (blockchain) he cared about instead! (This is the polite version. I will refrain from injuring your ears with the sailor’s language he actually used.) It was, to say the least, quite an aggressive response to a fairly innocuous post. Luckily for all of us, there are lessons to be learned from how this situation played out. Jay York, our senior social media strategist who manages our client’s social media platforms, says there were a few options he considered. On behalf of the client, Jay could have directly challenged the person’s comment. He could have also tagged the blockchain community, who likely would have brought down their...
How Small Publications Can Play A Big Role In Your Publicity Efforts

How Small Publications Can Play A Big Role In Your Publicity Efforts

I don’t believe I’m going out on a limb (well, at least not too far out) when I say that nearly everyone recognizes the giants of journalism. Such venerated (and at times vilified) publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and USA Today are hard to ignore, even if you’re not a regular reader or subscriber. But as wonderful as they are, these behemoths of the reporting world aren’t the only option for those who long to see their names in traditional and online print. Small towns throughout the country also are blessed with daily or weekly newspapers that keep their communities informed about who’s engaged, who died, whose child made honor roll and what the city commission and school board are up to these days. These more obscure practitioners of journalism still serve a significant role in our information age, but admittedly without the luster and renown that those top-tier publications enjoy. That’s why if you’re seeking to promote your brand, you could be thinking that it’s OK to ignore these lesser lights of the print and online media world in your quest for publicity. Stop right there! Let me tell you why that would be a mistake. These smaller venues, whether they appear online or in old-fashioned ink on paper, can be more important than you realize as you build your reputation as an authority in your field. How so? People read those local publications. Weekly newspapers and small dailies still attract a loyal readership for one simple reason: They provide readers with articles that have a direct impact on their...
In Search Of PR Success? Think About The Media’s Needs, Not Yours

In Search Of PR Success? Think About The Media’s Needs, Not Yours

When you have a great company or book that you want to promote, it’s easy to get so caught up in how things look from from your perspective that you start to think: “The media will want to talk to me the moment they hear about this!” I’m sorry to report, that won’t necessarily be the case. Instead, if you want to succeed in the publicity game, you need to take a step back and look at the world from someone else’s vantage point. In other words, stop thinking about your needs and start thinking about the media’s needs. Remember, you and the media have different goals. You are determined to promote your personal or company brand, establish yourself as an authority in your field, and then leverage that publicity to outshine your competition. The media, on the other hand, want to provide useful or interesting information that will keep their readers, viewers or listeners coming back. That means the onus falls on you to come up with articles or pitches that will resonate with the media’s audiences. If you can try to think like a newspaper reporter, a radio show host or a TV producer, that will go a long way in helping you to achieve your goal of getting in print or on the air! This is why we have experienced print journalists and broadcast professionals on our team. They have been on the other side, which means thinking like the media comes naturally. It’s what they did every day for decades. So what are some things you can do to put yourself in the media’s shoes...
The Advantage Women In Business Have With Being Interviewed In The Media

The Advantage Women In Business Have With Being Interviewed In The Media

Men and women both regularly experience successful publicity campaigns, promoting their position as authorities in their fields by being quoted in the press, interviewed on the air and building a following on social media. But (sorry, men) I think that women often enjoy an advantage on the PR front. Why do I say that? When you think of consumers, who is really doing the buying across the United States? Hint: It’s not the men. Women account for a staggering 85 percent of all consumer purchases, a fact not lost on advertisers. Because the media depend on the dollars they receive from advertisers for their very existence, they play to women and that means women have an advantage when it comes to seeking publicity. We’ve seen the effects of this phenomenon when we send what we refer to as “hot sheets” to our media contacts. A hot sheet is a list of our clients in a particular field who can speak on the issues of the day. Here’s something interesting we’ve encountered when we do that. If there’s a woman’s name on the hot sheet she may get a little more attention, assuming she has the same high-quality credentials as the men on the list. The media may see her as someone who can speak directly to the concerns and interests of that highly coveted female audience. But beyond the fact that the media often plays to the interests of women, there are other factors that in some cases can give women an edge in PR. Women bring a different point of view to the table. Everyone has experiences that...