When you think of public relations or publicity, what comes to mind? For some people, (even some P.R. types) it may mean hounding or even badgering the media to get them to generate a story about you, your product or your business. Sometimes that works, often times it doesn’t. As a P.R. professional, I realize the media has very little need for P.R., in the traditional sense. What the media does need is their own meaning of P.R. — Perfect Resources.
MAKE THE MEDIA COME TO YOU!
Put together a brief bit of information highlighting your expertise for the media outlet’s easy reference. I have even gone so far as to compile information labels for clients, and simply attached them to the back of a business card or a Rolodex card that the media representatives can then put in their “future file.” Simply mention that you would be happy to share your expertise with them when a “newsworthy need” arises. And believe me, the need will arise sooner than you or the media think it will.
Once you are established as a Perfect Resource in your area of expertise, media outlets will turn to you when a newsworthy issue that relates to your industry comes to light. For instance, when the stock market soars or tumbles, what do media outlets immediately do? As a former TV news reporter/producer and I know what we did. Reactively, we tried to dig up a Perfect Resource financial planner or stockbroker to get a reaction or to localize the story. The resources we used in the interviews were more than likely those who had done some proactive P.R. — Perfect Resource — homework. BINGO! Instant, FREE publicity and the relative consumer response. Once the interview was printed or aired, the source would invariably see an increase in business and/or calls.
This type of P.R. may not lead to immediate media interest or exposure. To generate some immediate response, spoon-feed those hungry media mongrels! Turn breaking news into your news. If a story that pertains to your area of expertise breaks or is about to break, whether it is local or national, make a quick phone call, email or fax that says, “I can help your readers/viewers/ listeners understand what this means and how to react.” Many reporters will interview you on the spot.
But, your expertise doesn’t have to be restricted to quips and quotes in your local newspaper or on the local airwaves. Start locally, and then move regionally, then nationally, and maybe even internationally, depending on your scope of expertise. If you truly have a product, information, research or expertise in a particular industry or medium, swim with the big fish. Consult with a P.R. professional who can help you research your applicable media market on a national scale. Compile a list of those media outlets that are not only able, but also very willing to give you a platform to share your expertise. Many of the national news programs on CNN, MSNBC, etc., are always on the lookout for articulate interview sources for their shows. But you have to know make yourself presentable to them. In the past few months, I have landed a number of clients on these types of shows and we used the P.R. — Perfect Resource — platform and created our own news.
Remember, these shows have to generate enough information to fill five shows a week. And as much as they hate to admit it, they secretly love us P.R. types… especially those of us who can make that editor, reporter or producer’s job a lot easier with a little P.R. gift: you as the Perfect Resource. What will that gift mean for you? As one great ad slogan once chimed… “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
Todd Brabender is the President of Spread The News Public Relations, Inc. His business specializes in generating widespread media exposure for innovative products, services and experts.