Is your news really news to anyone besides you?
PR is a different ball game than advertising so forget what you know. It is time to think OUTSIDE of the box. Once you start seeing opportunities this way, you'll be able to spot them a mile away. It's like the last scene of the Matrix where Keanu Reeves is in the hallway and the millions of green symbols start to take shape. He no longer just sees green symbols. He sees what has been right in front of him the whole time.
Here is a handy little check list followed by some real life scenarios to get you in a 'newsworthy' mindset
- Is it a major advancement?
- Will it save people time or money?
- Will people be transformed?
- Is there a celeb attached to it?
- Are you changing the world?
- Will it change the way people think, behave, go about their day?
- Is it cause related?
- Does it save lives of people or animals?
- Will it save the planet?
- Can it tie into current events, seasonal happenings, national holidays, movements?
Smart Moves if You Are New To Asking For Media Coverage
√ Partner with another individual or business who has gotten media coverage before.
√ Start local, in your own backyard. Good Morning America is not going to understand why you sent them a press release about you being under new management or announcing your grand opening… but your local newspaper or news station are likely to cover it if you write an enticing pitch.
Remember PR Taps Into Your Creative Genius
Public relations is all about being creative. Think beyond calling a media professional and telling them you have a new business opening announcement or you want to share with them what services you offer. They want something interesting. Otherwise it is just advertising.
In advertising you create a stagnant ad, with an image, a tagline and your contact details, and maybe announce a special. It stays the same, appears in the spot you paid for over and over.
Public Relations Is A L I V E
PR is you announcing that your juice company will be providing free juice to the first SpaceX passengers on their way to colonize Mars and that you'll be serving a signature drink called ‘Space Juice’ that refreshes humans on a cellular level for long-term space travel. Imagine the business you would receive by partnering with Elon Musk on something very substantial in this moment in time. Sound impossible? Don’t sell yourself short. You never know unless you ask and try.
Another thing I want to mention with PR is that it is VERY, VERY, VERY rare that a journalist wants to interview you just for being you... until you make it big, baby, which is in your cards.
I know this sounds shitty but they are looking for an angle. Otherwise again, it just ends up being an advertisement. You can pay for advertisements all day. PR Features are free but you have to earn them.
So, ask yourself, what can you speak on that makes a journalist want to feature you and your services?
You’ve got to see between the lines for opportunities. Being LITERAL and LINEAR is NOT the name of the game in PR.
Scenarios To Get You Drawing Outside of The Lines
Maybe you are an acupuncturist but there is an opportunity to be featured talking about the perfect standing desk and how it ties into one’s overall wellness. All publicity leads back to your name, your business name, your title, your website and your phone number so it is a WIN!
Maybe you are a massage therapist but there is an opportunity to be featured talking about relaxing scents for the workplace or comfortable shoes for people on their feet all day.
Maybe you are a realtor and the local morning news has a 5 minute guest segment for someone to speak about the growing city, popular new attractions in the neighborhood, best types of trees to shade your backyard or how to enhance your home’s curb appeal on a budget.
Maybe you are a film producer and Texas Highway magazine wants to interview you because you shot most of your film in Texas. Would you ever think to reach out to a state highway magazine to feature your film or just go toward the obvious and head towards Entertainment Magazine or People? You would if you knew that that highway magazine had millions of readers who would pay to see the film shot in their backyard.
Get In the Zone
A few questions to get you brainstorming...
- What services do you offer?
- What is happening currently in your neighborhood?
- What holiday is coming up?
- Can you partner with someone?
- What causes do you care about?
- What records do you want to set?
- What can you teach that is astonishing, life changing, hugely impactful?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post "Go after these! Here is a list of opportunities beyond mags, radio and tv for small businesses."
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