7 Ways to Get the Most from Publicity

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Too often, I talk to prospective clients who’ve gotten publicity in the past and say, “I got calls the day the TV interview aired, but after that, nothing.”

Or, “Yeah, my local paper ran a great article about me, but except for a few people who still find it on the paper’s website, it hasn’t done me much good since then.”

First I tell them that their marketing efforts should never end with one TV or radio interview or one article in a publication. Effective marketing requires staying in front of your audience. Think of the biggest brands you know: Coca-Cola, Apple, Ikea, Disney. We know their names because they make sure we’re constantly reminded of them. One of the ways they do that is by getting publicity.

A recent example was Coca-Cola’s pledge to donate $2.5 million to help the typhoon recovery effort in the Philippines. Ikea promised $2.7 million. From a marketing standpoint, such generosity reinforced the brands as friends to the world community and corporations with a heart. The donations alone were large enough to merit headlines, which they did.

But Coke and Ikea got a huge boost when it came to the media’s attention (perhaps the work of a good publicist?) that they gave considerably more than the world’s biggest economic power, China, which offered only $1.6 million. Scores of news outlets carried the story with headlines like these:

ABC News:
For Philippine Relief, China Beat by Ikea, Coke

USA Today:
China’s aid to Philippines dwarfed by Ikea

The two companies got widespread, positive publicity because, big as they are, they never stop reminding consumers of their presence and their brands.

The second thing I say to people for whom publicity “didn’t work” is, “What did you do with it?”

Sometimes the answer is a blank stare.

There are many ways to maximize the benefits of the publicity you get, and if you’re not doing these things, you’re getting only a small fraction of the value.

Here are seven ways you should be putting your publicity to work for you right now.

  • Post it on your website. The endorsement of traditional media, even if it’s simply mentioning your name, is marketing gold to anyone trying to build a business, sell a product or get a book into more hands. The endorsements implied by recognition from the media make you appear more trustworthy and credible – and thus more appealing – than your competition.
  • Use it on social media. Promote upcoming interviews – “Looking forward to talking with national radio host Jim Bohannon at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Love his show!” “Like” the show on Facebook, follow the host on Twitter, and look for other ways to cross promote. Once the show airs (or the article is published), you’ve got a new post: “Great conversation with Jim Bohannon on Tuesday! If you missed it, here’s a link.”
  • Incorporate it into your sales and marketing materials. Share links to some of your best coverage in your on-line marketing material and be sure to use it in flyers, brochures, direct-mail advertising and other promotions.
  • Reference it when pursuing speaking engagements. You’ll greatly boost your chances of getting the gig if the people vetting speakers know that you’ve gotten media attention. Make sure it’s on your speaker profile and in your marketing materials. Let’s face it, the more important you are, the better it makes them look.
  • Forward copies of print articles to clients to reinforce their confidence in hiring you.
  • Also forward those articles to prospective clients to persuade them to hire you.
  • Create a “wall of fame” in your office for all your visitors to see.

Don’t neglect to keep your website, marketing materials, etc. updated with your most recent coverage. Sure, that article from 2007 can still impress today; but if it looks like that’s the last time the media sought you out, the effect diminishes.

Whether you’ve paid someone to help you get media exposure or you’ve done the work yourself, you’ve made an investment in PR. It’s easy to get a great return on that investment and reap the rewards for a long time, providing you put it to work for you.

Waste not!

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