On occasion, a client leaves me shaking my head when they debate the value of a broad publicity campaign that takes in publications both small and large.

They want to narrow their aim to a few top-tier media outlets or specialty publications, and they pooh-pooh the idea that lesser-known venues hold any value for them.

Certainly, we can customize a small database of publications, but after sitting at this desk for 25 years I know from experience it’s not a good idea. People who don’t deal with this on a day-to-day basis have no idea about the scope of what can be done and the results that can be achieved by going wide.

Because here’s the thing: You never know who your efforts might reach. You never can be certain which journalist your pitch might strike a chord with. You never know what seemingly inconsequential placement in an obscure publication might lead to bigger things.

That point was reinforced for me just recently when a new client explained to me how she learned about EMSI. She visited our office and during our meeting said she found us through an article I had written that was published in “VDTA.” With a big smile on my red face, I told her I had no clue what VDTA stood for. She explained it was the name of her industry publication, “Vacuum Dealers Trade Association.”

My article had not been requested by or written specifically for that publication. It didn’t even have anything to do with vacuums! It was simply a broadly distributed article about marketing and publicity that came into the hands of a magazine editor who thought it would appeal to readers.

It definitely appealed to at least one and, voila, we had a new client.

Let me give you another example.

We had an ear, nose and throat doctor who wrote a book and sold a product similar to neti pots, which are used for sinus irrigation. We wrote an article that also mentioned his product and, following our usual “go-broad” strategy, sent it out.

Unexpectedly, at least to us, he got the biggest result in sales from a scuba diving association’s magazine! It seems divers often deal with sinus problems, so the topic resonated with the magazine and its readers.
While it would be nice to claim this as laser-sharp marketing, the truth is no one here thought, “Let’s get this out to the scuba divers posthaste.”

Yet at the same time, our success wasn’t sheer luck. It was a direct result of our “cast-a-big-net” approach. If we had developed a customized database, the scuba-diving group would have never made the cut because neither we nor the client thought of it.

Why am I telling you this?

Over the years, I’ve found that the clients who experience the most successful publicity campaigns are those who take advantage of every opportunity that comes along, no matter how large or small.

They are willing to be interviewed by any publication that reaches out to them. They don’t turn anything down. This reasoning is even more relevant today with all print media having an online presence and the SEO value of online coverage.

So, even though you’re not broadly distributing articles in the same way we do for our clients, the point remains the same. If a journalist or producer calls to interview you, don’t be concerned about the size of the publication or watts of the radio station – just do the interview! You just never know who is reading or listening.

Yours far and wide,
Marsha

P.S. If you want help spreading your message to the media so that more consumers learn about you, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 211 or get your Free Media Analysis here!

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