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...
Don’t Ignore The New Names In The Media Landscape

Don’t Ignore The New Names In The Media Landscape

I’ve shared in the past how excited our team gets whenever we score a big media hit for one of our clients. What’s interesting these days is the changing nature of some of those hits. Certainly, the New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other traditional print media have always been a part of the mix that sends our enthusiasm into hyperdrive. And they remain so! But, with the rise of digital media publishers, more and more we are seeing and getting excited about names that were unfamiliar not that long ago, yet reach audiences that rival — or even surpass — those time-honored media giants. Maybe you’re familiar with a few of them. Refinery29. The Verge. BroBible. Ladders. Or maybe you’re not -– because I wasn’t until recently! But if you’re still old-school in your media orientation — and are concentrating only on established media for your publicity efforts — it’s time to re-think your universe. These digital publications are fast becoming too big to ignore, and they can play a significant role in promoting your brand. Let me offer three reasons why you should be thrilled if one of them wants to interview you and share your expertise with the world: Social media sharing. The readers of these digital publications love to share on social media articles that catch their fancy — and that means your appearance in one of them has the potential to gain exposure that gets multiplied several times over. Let me tell you about one recent real-world example. We arranged for one of our clients to be included in a...
Writing Op-Eds Vs. Being A Journalist’s Source

Writing Op-Eds Vs. Being A Journalist’s Source

When it comes to the print media, there’s more than one way to get your message out and to position yourself as an authority. Some of our clients want to be the go-to expert for journalists who are in need of well-credentialed sources for their articles. Others long to write opinion articles – or op-ed pieces, as they are commonly referred to – where they can more fully express their views on trends, breaking news or life in general. Many want to do both! So is one better than the other? Well, each has its advantages, so let’s take a look at that. With an op-ed piece, you have the opportunity to give your complete point of view, as opposed to a reporter picking and choosing a few highlights from an interview with you. It’s definitely an option when it comes to positioning yourself as a thought leader in whatever field of endeavor you want to be viewed as an expert. On the other hand, when you’re quoted in a news or feature article – especially with a highly respected publication – the readers recognize that the journalist trusted your expertise enough to turn to you as a source. You’re offering insight and maybe even giving your opinion, yes, but in this case you are getting the added bonus of an implied endorsement from that journalist, who essentially is saying to his or her readers that you’re someone who brings experience and knowledge to the topic under discussion. Some people prefer the op-ed, perhaps because they assume there’s a certain distinction that comes with these bylined pieces. Plus, they...
Writing Your Own Articles? Be Aware Of The Shifting Media Landscape

Writing Your Own Articles? Be Aware Of The Shifting Media Landscape

My team writes plenty of articles for clients every week, but for years I also have encouraged clients to write their own bylined pieces for print publications – both traditional and online – as one more way to get their name and message out to the masses. It’s a great addition to any publicity campaign. So I was slightly disconcerted to learn that one reliable place for such articles to land no longer plans to accept them. The Huffington Post dissolved its self-publishing contributors’ platform, which means budding writers and others with a message to share have one less venue for reaching their potential audiences. The HuffPost had been publishing such contributions since Arianna Huffington established the online site nearly 13 years ago, so this marks a sea change in the way the publication does business. At first glance, the move might seem surprising – even perplexing. But perhaps it shouldn’t. Just recently I was participating at an event where Dan Kennedy, author of such books as No B.S. Guide to Brand Building by Direct Response, spoke about how crowded the digital marketplace has become. There’s so much “noise” that sometimes it’s difficult to be heard above all the clatter. I think that’s what happened with HuffPost. They are just one part of that noise, and as more people became “HuffPost contributors” (the New York Times reported the number as 100,000) the title lost some of its luster. Now, by ending that forum for unpaid contributors, HuffPost may be trying to declutter its personal corner of that “noisy” digital marketplace. It’s a bummer, I know! But don’t despair! If...
How To Give Journalists What They Need – And Avoid Irritating Them

How To Give Journalists What They Need – And Avoid Irritating Them

A big part of the publicity game is attracting the attention of the media and persuading them to interview you. But what happens when you’ve been successful in getting the media to look your way, only to find yourself wide-eyed, nervous and murmuring, “What now?” Governors, mayors and assorted movie stars and athletes are accustomed to talking with reporters, so they generally know what to do and what not to do in such encounters. The average person doesn’t have the same track record, so when they finally land an interview they can unintentionally sabotage their relationship with the reporter before it gets off the ground. This comes from a mixture of not knowing the media rules of engagement and failing to understand that the interview is really about what the journalist wants – not what you want. For example, one no-no is to ask to see a reporter’s notes or finished article before the article is published. For a variety of reasons, most reporters won’t agree to such requests – and some of them will be downright insulted and irritated that you asked. So don’t! Here are a few other tips to help make the interview run more smoothly and to have the journalist singing your praises afterward: Don’t be late. Whether your interview is by phone or in person, be on time! Journalists are on tight deadlines and if you don’t show up on schedule you’re risking that they will move on to another source. Sure, you’re a busy person, too, but you don’t want to leave the journalist waiting. With any luck, you can build a relationship...
Want More Print Coverage? Offer Up Your Own Articles

Want More Print Coverage? Offer Up Your Own Articles

One often overlooked means of getting great publicity is to contribute articles you wrote yourself to publications. Not only does your published byline boost your visibility, it provides an excellent credential. While many of the major national publications don’t accept unsolicited articles, some do set aside space for contributor columns or accept guest columns on their op-ed pages. The New York Daily News and Newsmax, for instance, have published many articles written by our clients. In some cases, these articles have drawn the attention of other media, leading to more exposure for our clients. Smaller publications, trade magazines and online publications also may be good places for your articles to land. These publications often have small staffs, so they’re happy to get well-written articles that they don’t have to pay for. Your reward is the publicity you’ll receive because you’ll likely get a credit line that includes your website and email. To help get you started on the path to publication, here are some do’s and don’ts: Look for submission guidelines on the publication’s website – and follow them! Some publications post their rules for submitting unsolicited articles. They may outline the topics they’re interested in, minimum and/or maximum word counts, and the style. If you find guidelines, stick to them! The No. 1 mistake people make is going over the maximum word count. That will very likely get your article rejected. And, since editors often don’t tell you why they’re rejecting the article, the writer keeps repeating the mistake. Pitch your ideas before writing a full article.  While with some publications you can submit a full article, you can save...