Getting great publicity can transform your business into an instant success. Being featured in the media builds your business momentum, taking your brand from unknown to well-recognised almost overnight, and tipping money into your bank account every day.
It gives you a credibility which would otherwise take you years to build up.
The secret to getting free publicity is to discover and work with proven techniques which catch media attention and put you way ahead of your competitors. When you master publicity, you master your business, too.
Today I am going to reveal to you some of my secrets for capturing media interest and here’s a hint for you – we’ll start right there in your head.
STEP ONE: Get your head straight.
Overcome any fears you may have about your product or service not being good enough/interesting enough or that no one will want to know about it. If you’ve established that there’s a need for what you offer, don’t let your self-doubts do your head in.
Your product will benefit people and they will love you for it. That’s what you need to focus on. Believe in yourself and your product. If the media feel for even a split second that you don’t believe in yourself or your product or service, it’s all over before it’s even begun.
Marie Forleo has a great video blog around mindset when you feel like it’s all been done before. Watch it here:
STEP TWO: Know your product / service
Publicity can be easy to achieve if you’re passionate about your product or service, know all of its elements, find something unique and interesting about it and create a newsworthy angle.
Why is this so important? Well, remember that the media isn’t looking for a product or service to advertise. They want a story; something that will appeal to their audience. When you know your product so intimately, you will see the stories behind it and that’s where you will find the hook you can use to appeal to the media.
STEP THREE: Know your market
Understand your message and your core positioning in your market so you can target the exact publications and forms of media that reach your ideal clients.
For example, if you sell golf clubs, being featured in a sports magazine would be great, but not if it’s primarily focused on water sports. If your message and core positioning target left handed golfers, try to narrow down the media outlets you approach to those with the same niche.
STEP FOUR: Plan, strategize and set objectives for your publicity ideas
Have a purpose in mind when you’re seeking publicity.
Who do you want to reach – mainstream media or specialised outlets?
Which sector of your audience do you want to appeal to?
What do they want to hear about?
How can you put all that together into an exciting media release or pitch?
Tailor your approach to each outlet. Cathy Summers, Vice President at Shift Communications says:
“ You need to schedule it, plan for it and make it a priority. It’s easy to get caught up in work and deadlines, but you’ll be a better PR pro, a better employee — heck a better person — if you get a handle on your time.”
STEP FIVE: Create a jaw-dropping press release.
Paul Krupin is the founder of Direct Contact PR and the author of Trash Proof News Releases.
Paul has a free e-Book on the same topic available on his site, and he says the Secret Bottom Line Formula for News Release Success is this:
“Tell me a story, give me a local news angle, and then touch my heart (make me laugh or cry), make my stomach churn (with horror or fear), hit me in my pocketbook, or grab my gonads.”
So your ability to learn how to write a great press release around different ‘newsworthy’ angles will make a massive difference to your business. Look for the stories you can tell, and kick off with a powerful headline.
- Why did you start your business?
- What happened in your first year of business?
- What interesting client stories can you tell to show off your results?
- Include the “who, what, how, where and why” information, and keep it factual.
STEP SIX: Learn how to pitch different ideas to the media.
The media won’t find you; you’ll have to make yourself noticed and the key to that will be in your pitch. Don’t forget your research – be searching online (and offline) for great PR and media tips.
Now, while you might love your story idea, one pitch won’t appeal to every journalist or media outlet. Tailor each pitch to make it interesting to the target market of each outlet you approach.
- Work out a list of potential topics
- Look for different angles for each topic. E.g. Your left-handed golf clubs might have sports, fitness, lifestyle, medical and curiosity angles.
- Write down the factors which make you credible to each outlet, such as experience, qualifications or endorsements.
- Combine these ingredients into a concise but exciting email to the journalists.
- Always follow up on your publicity pitches – it gives you credibility and lets the media know you are serious and professional.
Always be researching different ways to generate publicity. Here’s a good short, sharp article about PR Hacks To Get Better Publicity for Your Business.
STEP SEVEN: Use social media to boost credibility and organic publicity.
Social media is a powerful influencer, so work it. Build social proof as evidence of your credibility. It’s human nature that where one leads, the others follow. Think about it. How often do you check an eBay seller’s feedback score before deciding to purchase?
We believe what others say, and that affects the actions we choose to take.
LinkdIN is one of the first places many editors, journalists and producers look to establish credibility of an invididual.
On social media you can share case studies, client feedback, support from industry leaders, and show off your skills. Encourage conversation and sharing. Not only is everything easily shareable across social media platforms, it builds your follower numbers and helps generate some hype about your brand. Journalists are human, and they will be influenced by what they see, too.
Twitter is an excellent social media platform for gaining publicity. These 60 Twitter tools for PR and marketing pros can be easily implemented in your own business.
STEP EIGHT: Create relationships with other leaders in your field and secure guest blogging opportunities
Polish up your networking skills and start connecting on and off line with influential people in your field. Refer to them in your blogs and social media comments. Tag them when it’s relevant (but don’t overdo it or you’ll look like a stalker!)
Pitch your blog idea to them as you would to a journalist. The secret to success here is to think about what you can offer to these important people, rather than what they can do for you.
STEP NINE: Powerful resources to help you get free publicity for your business
You don’t have to hunt down publicity opportunities by yourself. Sometimes they come to you. Here are some sites to learn to love:
HARO and SourceBottle: These are sites that help connect journalists looking for stories with the people who can supply them. They email call outs to their subscribers, describing what information journalists are looking for. As a subscriber, you can respond to the call out and gain free publicity. These are the sites that major news media outlets go to for their sources, so get yourself onto both HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and SourceBottle today.
Cision and PRWeb are press release distribution networks which send your release to major news sites and search engines. All you need to do is to upload your press release and they do the hard work for you. Check them out.
I’ve covered a lot here today, but of course there is plenty more you could be doing to generate immense publicity for your business. If you’d like to learn more strategies like these, take a look at The Publicity Project where you’ll get access to media lists, press release samples, training, templates and more.
Remember, the more action you take, the more results you will get. Let’s get your business moving. If you have a question you’d like answered, leave it here in the comments and I will answer it for you.