martes, 20 de noviembre de 2007

Get local publicity for your business

Del blog Startup Spark.

Everyone wants to have their news covered by the “Big Guys.” But if you only focus your media relations efforts towards the national media, you’re missing one of the best opportunities to get your name in the news.
Local TV stations and cable channels, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and newsletters - both print and electronic - have huge amounts of time and space to fill. And most of the time, these media outlets don’t have the staff or the resources of the Big Guys, so if you can truly help them do their jobs, you’ll be repaid with some great publicity.
Here’s my top ways of developing a great local media relations program:
Press releases with a local angle. One of the easiest ways to do this is what the people in the news business call ‘piggybacking.’ ‘Piggybacking’ simply means putting localizing a national story. You can piggyback on news items, trends, holidays, or national events. For example, one of the best piggybacking stories I was pitched when I was a TV reporter during the time when Anthrax and chemical warfare were big on the national news. A local army-navy store owner called saying because of the scare, gas masks were flying off the shelves. The store owner got great coverage, and my story was used in local broadcasts across the state - and covered as a print story on the Associate Press.
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Hot guest sheets. Want to be a local radio show guest? DJs and talk show hosts are always looking for interesting local people to interview. But you just can’t send them a news release in the hopes that they’ll see you as a good guest. After all, they’re really not in the news business, but the entertainment business. So you need to develop a hot guest sheet that outlines why you’re topic is interesting and why you’re a great guest. Also put in a list of suggested questions to help them generate the best interview from you.
Meet reporters and editors. One of the best things I did to get my name in front of journalist was to set up informational interviews with the ones I felt aligned with my own business stories. Now this isn’t a pitching session for you to tell the journalist how great your product or service is. What you want to get out of these is an idea of what the reporter looks for in a story; how he or she likes to receive information; when is the best time to contact him or her. After the meeting, follow up with a nice thank you note.
Letters to the editor. This is one of my favorite secret weapons, which very few people take advantage of. You may not know this but the letter to the editor section of any newspaper is usually tone of the most read sections of the newspaper. When you see a story that has some interest or value to your own business, write your letter to the editor agreeing or disagreeing with the piece or adding some perspective the writer didn’t mention. Just keep your letter to no more than 300 words as shorter letters are more likely to be printed than longer ones. I’ve often had a reporter call a client, after reading several letters to the editor from them, to interview them for a story. They feel the person has publicly established themselves as an expert - and is eloquent enough to be interviewed.

So just remember the secret meaning behind the word “publiCITY” - city (that is, the place where YOU live) is part of its name!

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