Spreading the Good News About Your Business

Consistently highlighting your company’s expertise will gradually build your reputation over time, helping to keep you in the public eye and leading to more customers coming on board

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There is an old proverb that goes, “Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.” The same can be said about publicity. If you do publicity once, you’ll only get business for a day. However, if you do publicity with frequency and repetition, you’ll build a business that will feed you for a lifetime.

The advice and benefits of seeking publicity go for any type of business, from a major corporation to a mom and pop local company — say your plumbing business. Your goal is to position yourself as an expert in the industry and to highlight your professionalism in the field.

Continuing with the fishing metaphors, here is some advice to get you on the way to your first monster publicity catch:

Know what you’re fishing for; know who your target market is: First, you have to decide what you’re fishing for; then you go where they are. If you’re fishing for trout, you may go to a lake. If you’re fishing for salmon, you head to a river. And if you’re fishing for mahimahi, you would gas up the boat for some deep-sea fishing. The same is true for your target market. Once you decide who your target market is, you go where they are. If you want name recognition in front of business decision-makers, go to trade, industry or business association publications. If you want the attention of homeowners, go to a local newspaper real estate section or a home improvement blog. Every market has media outlets you can tap into. Know who your target market is and where they’re located and you’ll get a bite every time.

Have the right lures; position your expertise: In a lake, you would want a bobber and lures to attract a fish’s attention. In a river or stream, you might want to use a fly-fishing pole. On the ocean, you’d want to be fully strapped in with a strong line and reel. The same is true for positioning your expertise in a way the reader wants to see it. You may think that since Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Bloomberg BusinessWeek are all business publications, you can send the same press release to all of them. But consider their core reader: Entrepreneur says who they are in the title; Fast Company attracts the reader who wants new, now, next; and Bloomberg BusinessWeek is the old steady blue-chip business person. If you tailor your press release to the reader of the publication you want to get into, you’ll have them jumping out of the water for you. 

Use the right bait on your hook; use the right content in your hook: Whether you use a worm, eggs or chum depends on the fish you want to catch. The same is true for the content you use to hook the media’s attention. If you don’t get the media’s attention, your target market will never see your content so you have to present your content in the right way. Many people make the mistake of presenting themselves as the story. The media cares about what you can do for their reader. Who you are and why they should listen to you comes second. Press releases should not be advertorial or self-promotional; they should be educational, informational and content driven. Lead with your unique expertise that can help a homeowner, for instance. Offer the media additional information on a story they’re already running and they’ll be itching to take the bait.

Tell a fish story; use your publicity: Every fisherman has a whopper of a story about the one that got away, but just as many have trophies mounted on their walls to prove their skills. The same is true with your publicity: You’ve got to tell a good tale about it, or otherwise you might as well cut bait and walk away. Start an In the Media page on your website. Nothing impresses a potential client more than knowing the media considers you the go-to source for information on your expertise. Use the publicity you receive in your social media as well. If you’re a business-to-business company, you would want to focus on LinkedIn, or if you’re business-to-consumer company, you could use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or others.

Get To Work

If you’re hoping to build business name recognition, increase market awareness or boost sales, you first need to drop your line into the water. Wading into the media doesn’t have to be a scary situation. Knowing who you want to hook and having the right bait in your tackle box will land you publicity without much of a struggle. Regardless of whether you’re standing on the banks, using a rowboat or in a trawler, it’s about positioning your content in front of your target market in a format they want to hear. Then just sit back and reel them in. You’ll have a net full of media placements to use in your marketing for a lifetime.

About the Author

Russell Trahan is president of PR/PR Public Relations and author of Sell Yourself Without Saying a Word. For more information, visit www.prpr.net


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