What To Do When Media Successes Are Quickly Followed By Media Failures

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In the publicity world, nothing quite matches the excitement of landing not just one great media hit, not just two, but a whole series that follows quickly one right after the other. Such extraordinary success can trick you into thinking: Hey, this publicity and brand-building game ain’t so hard after all!

Of course, success this week – or even this month – doesn’t automatically mean success from here on out. You’re probably familiar with that old bit of wisdom: “Don’t rest on your laurels.”

It definitely applies in the publicity game.

Because sometimes you can achieve a string of remarkable successes and then – kerplunk – it all comes thudding to a halt!

Why? There could be a few reasons.

One possibility is you’ve gone to the proverbial well too often. Policies vary, but some publications have rules about how often they’re willing to use the same source. A health reporter, for example, doesn’t want to quote the same doctor in article after article, for months on end. So print journalists, radio show hosts and TV hosts seek out others with the same knowledge and skill set – if for no other reason than to add varied points of view to their reporting.

That’s great if you’re the new guy who’s being sought out. It may not be so great if you’re the person who exceeded the quota for being quoted.

Regardless of the reasons for your sudden publicity slump, there are a few tactics you can try in an effort to get your A-game up and running again:

  • Switch media. If the problem is that you’ve overstayed your welcome with, for example, your print media contacts, you can always step back momentarily from print and pitch yourself to radio and TV hosts. You’ll build new contacts in the process. Once time has passed, and they haven’t quoted you for awhile, you should be able to revisit those print contacts. Also, don’t forget that your social media platforms are there for you at all times, because with those you control your messaging and don’t have to convince a media gatekeeper.
  • Get creative. I’ve often said that one of the best ways to earn media coverage – whether it’s print, radio or TV – is to offer yourself as an expert to comment on what’s happening in the news. The media already are writing and talking about these topics, so inserting yourself into those conversations is a smart approach. But what if your expertise doesn’t fit into anything happening in the current news cycle? That’s where you need to become creative. Develop your own story ideas, wrapped around what you do, and pitch those to the media. Just remember: Don’t make these story ideas about you. Make the pitch about a specific topic, preferably a problem that people in the media’s audience might have that you can help them solve.
  • Take your message on the road. Or at least down the street. Get your message out in person as much as you can and as often as you can. Even acting as a guest speaker at a civic organization’s monthly meeting could make a difference because you never know who might be in the audience. Perhaps the editor of the local newspaper will be there and that’s a contact you’ll want to make. This is also a good opportunity to build your social media following by posting your social media handles prominently during your talk.

Be tenacious, because in the publicity world, even when things are clicking you need to keep the momentum going so that you don’t fall off anyone’s radar.

Your long-term goal should be to build a media presence so exceptional that, eventually, the media won’t wait for you to start pitching them. They will start contacting you when they are in need of someone with your knowledge and skill!

So long slump!


P.S. If you’d like professional help getting coverage in the press, and being interviewed on radio and TV, give us a call. We’ve been providing this service to clients for 28 years. We also offer a comprehensive social media marketing program for select clients, where we do it all for you. If you’re interested in our help, please call us at 727-443-7115 Ext. 231. We’d love to hear from you!

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