One of the wonderful things about the age in which we live is that your opportunities to spread the message about yourself or your brand are greater than ever because of the Internet.
But here’s the thing. Everyone else – your competitors included – have those same opportunities.
That’s why you need to get your public relations message circulating and keep it circulating. You can’t count on a PR effort from the past to keep the momentum rolling into the future. Yet, as basic as that might seem, it’s not unusual for me to hear someone say something along the lines of, “I don’t need any more publicity. I did that already.”
Well, that was nice then. But is your message from yesteryear still relevant in today’s market, or does the passage of time make you seem like yesterday’s news?
“Relevant” is a significant word here. It’s critical that you stay relevant in the media, especially if your competition is out there getting noticed while you watch from the sidelines. The worst thing you can do for your name or brand recognition is to fold your PR tent and stow it away in the attic.
I’ve used this analogy a few times in the past, but it’s such an apt one that I want to resurrect it one more time. Think of a gym membership.
You can’t expect to sign up for a workout regimen to improve your health, but quit a month later figuring you accomplished all that was needed.
Everyone knows that a limited-time-only effort at exercise is doomed to fail. The world of public relations works the same way. It needs to be ongoing, not a one-shot deal.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you cultivate a long-term PR perspective:
- Stay in front of the media. Out of sight, out of mind definitely applies when it comes to the media. You need to keep your name in front of them, reminding them who you are and that you are available to lend your expertise to their news coverage. Maybe you pitched a brilliant idea to a few newspapers six months ago, only to receive zero response. That could have just been bad timing. Try again. Don’t let them forget you. Also, it’s important to understand that the media follow the media. The more you establish yourself as an expert who can provide thoughtful commentary – even if it’s just for your local media market – the more likely other media will take notice. If you want to see your name in the top-tier media – such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN or Fox News – your chances of this happening become stronger if you first build a media presence at the lower rungs. The big news organizations will Google you and if little or nothing pops up, they will dismiss you as someone lacking the credentials they want in a source.
- Stay in front of your potential customers. Traditional media coverage helps you do that and at the same time, it gains you credibility in the eyes of your customers. This, combined with social media, is an effective way to remind everyone you have something to offer them.
- Stay ahead of your competitors. Journalists are going to write about something and someone, so you might as well be part of the mix rather than let a competitor hog all the attention. The same goes for TV news shows and radio talk shows. If you don’t make yourself known to the media, but your competition does, then when the opportune moment arises, they will get the call and not you.
Ultimately, this comes down to top-of-mind awareness. That is, when the media need a source and you have the expertise they crave, you want to be at the top of their minds – and their rolodexes.
Remember, the purpose behind any PR effort is to engage the media in your message. They are the gatekeepers and when they decide to tell your story, it puts you at the top of your customers’ minds as well.
That’s a great place to be!
P.S. If you would like information about a new, affordable and ongoing public relations program, to keep you on the air and in the news, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 211 or get your Free Media Analysis here!