Anytime a PR effort results successfully in coverage by a major media outlet, you are entitled to a little celebration.
But, of course, it’s even better when those successes multiply – and then multiply some more.
That’s what happened recently with one of our clients, a financial professional who was able to build her authority by being quoted in such top-tier media outlets as Reader’s Digest, Yahoo Finance, CNBC.com, Business News Daily, American Express OPEN Forum and many others.
I wanted to share this PR success story with you not to brag (well, maybe just a tad), but because I think there are lessons to be learned from the things this client did right on her way to accomplishing her publicity goals. Those lessons apply whether you have enlisted the aid of a public relations firm to help with your publicity (as she did), have someone in-house handling it for you, or are reaching out to the media completely on your own.
And every single thing she did is something you can emulate – if you’re willing to put in the time and effort as she was. So, let’s take a look at what helped separate her from others whose credentials and message are just as good, but who don’t fare as well in the publicity game:
- Responsiveness. If a journalist needed a quote, she was at the ready, carving out the time even though she was already plenty busy working with clients and running her business. She simply refused to let a hectic day interfere with taking advantage of those media opportunities. Everyone says they are busy – and in truth, most of us are. We have meetings to attend, phone calls to take and reports to write, not to mention family obligations. She had all those things, too, yet made responding to the media a priority because she wanted her investment in a PR campaign to be a success – and it paid off.
- Thoughtful answers. Members of the media are often on tight deadlines, so they want answers to their questions as quickly as possible. But that doesn’t mean just anything will do. One-sentence responses, or comments that provide no real insight, aren’t that helpful. The media need quotes that are thoughtful and provide value to their audiences. If you can’t give them that, they will find someone else who can. Our client’s thorough takes on the topics presented to her helped ensure that her comments were published, rather than ending up cut from the journalist’s article.
- Willingness to engage all media. Our client responded to questions regardless of what publication they were coming from, and that’s more important to a successful publicity campaign than people realize. Sometimes there’s a tendency to disregard smaller publications as unimportant. Everyone wants the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal or other top-tier media, which is understandable. But lesser-known publications can be valuable for a few reasons. For one thing, they help build your online media presence, so if reporters at larger publications search your name, they will find you’ve already been a trusted source for someone. Beyond that, it’s not unusual for a journalist who writes for a small weekly or daily newspaper to also do freelance work for larger publications. In addition, many newspapers are owned by chains and they share articles with their sister newspapers. So, that small-town newspaper article that quotes you might ultimately reach a larger audience than you anticipated.
This client understood that for her publicity campaign to be a success, she needed to play a significant role – and she definitely was up to the challenge.
To achieve favorable results, you can’t ignore those great media opportunities when they arise. The willingness to set aside time to take a reporter’s phone call or respond to emailed questions can be the difference maker in whether your campaign fizzles or flourishes.
P.S. If you want professional advice on getting the most out of your publicity efforts, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 0.