Winning Media Publicity or Better Known as Free Marketing

In years past the term "media" commonly referred only to Newspapers, radio and Television. In today's hyper-information world, the term has come to include any entity that distributes a message whether a feature news story or announcement, advertisement, graphic, video or audio broadcast or file.

Unlike the limited media options of the past, today's media comes in dozens of different and often specialized formats such as Weblogs (Blogs), Electronic Magazines (Ezines), Video Logs (Vlogs) such as YouTube, Websites such as ForConstructionPros.com, RSS feeds, e-mail based distribution platforms and literally tens of thousands of business journals, both online and off, trade publications, corporate print newsletters, subscription based newsletters, national, regional, trade and specialty magazines, most of which have an online version, webcasts (TV like internet broadcasts) satellite radio, internet radio and podcasts.

And to further muddy the media landscape, the technology of HD (High Definition) radio now allows traditional, or terrestrial (Non satellite) radio stations to split one signal into two separate ones and broadcast different content on each one simultaneously.

Although the opportunities for winning enormously valuable publicity increases every day as the industry expands, determining who to approach, when and most importantly with what kind of information, can be maddening. Couple this confusion with the limited time most business owners have to spare and creating and managing a publicity campaign can become a daunting if not mind numbing and unpleasant task.

Although the new media does present more opportunities than ever before, many of these new outlets are not appropriate nor would they be effective in promoting a local or regional business since they have more global focus. In other words it does not benefit a contractor in Des Moines to be featured in a news story with national circulation beyond the scope of the local audience.

Where it might seem this media expansion presents no greater local opportunities than before the opposite is true. Much of this new growth is from the expansion of internet-based publications. This expansion has caused traditional media such as newspapers and Television stations to develop their own web based publications and portals. For example until recently the online version of a local newspaper was just an electronic reproduction of the print publication. Today the online version is stand alone, complete with its own content needs. And unlike the 24 hour news cycle of old, online news updates in real time, sometimes several times per hour depending on the outlet.

The exponential growth has also forced regional media outlets to increase their local focus in an attempt to hold market share. This massive increase in content requirements for web sites coupled with the increased desire to report more local news presents amazing opportunities for small business owners looking to win the war of awareness in a sluggish economy.

What's the point to all this?
Your local news media wants to hear from you and are more receptive than ever to your announcements and short news mentions. And there is no better way to win the minds of prospects then by letting them peer inside your business and get to know as much as your firm as possible.

So get those e-mails and faxes running and make sure you contact the media whenever any one of the following seventy-six events happens:

  1. Accomplishments/Business
  2. Accomplishments/Personal
  3. Alliance with another organization
  4. Anniversary/Business
  5. Annual Report
  6. Appearances at major events
  7. Articles written about you
  8. Articles written by you
  9. Articles you were quoted in
  10. Awards you're bestowing (On Public Figure)
  11. Awards your firm is bestowing on employees
  12. Awards you're personally receiving
  13. Benefits program initiated (ex Employee Health Wellness)
  14. Blog Launches
  15. Board or Committee Appointments you granted
  16. Board or Committee Appointments bestowed upon you
  17. Books you have authored
  18. Books you have been quoted in
  19. Celebrity Endorsement
  20. Civic Programs your firm is sponsoring
  21. Civic programs your firm is participating in
  22. Classes your firm is sponsoring
  23. Company anniversary
  24. Company milestones (ex 100th employee/100,000th customer)
  25. Contests you're sponsoring
  26. Charitable contributions made by your firm
  27. Charitable events (ex Golf Tournaments)
  28. Death of corporate figure
  29. Expanded facilities
  30. Expanded or reduce hours
  31. Expansion Plans
  32. Free Offers and Demonstrations
  33. Fundraisers
  34. Grand Openings
  35. Guest speaker you're hosting
  36. Holiday events
  37. Incorporations
  38. Industry groups you are joining
  39. Major industry changes
  40. Land purchases
  41. Lawsuits filed
  42. Mergers/Acquisitions
  43. Management Change
  44. Major purchase
  45. New market development
  46. Name change
  47. New employees
  48. New Franchise addition
  49. New major client
  50. New product rollouts
  51. Newsletters you are starting
  52. New Address
  53. Open House
  54. Patents
  55. Photographs (Employees/Family/Building Improvements etc.)
  56. Planned Public Relations Campaigns
  57. TV/Radio Interviews
  58. Predictions
  59. Product Improvements
  60. Product eliminations
  61. Podcast Launch
  62. Sports Team Sponsorship (Little League)
  63. Stock Offering
  64. Stock loss/write off explanation
  65. Stock Split
  66. Publication launch
  67. Relocation (Facility)
  68. Sales Promotions
  69. Sales Projections
  70. Sales Accomplishments achieved
  71. Scholarships you're bestowing
  72. Surveys/Polls
  73. URL Change
  74. Webinar Launch
  75. Web site Launch
  76. Web Site revamp

You may also wish to include a picture (.jpg file format) if you e-mail your news item. Make sure you include your contact information. Often small news blurbs and mentions will stimulate a larger feature story. Also remember to insert a mention to the reporter or producer than you are available as an expert source or for comments on stories related to the industry you're in and the products and services offered by your firm.

Michael Hart is a speaker, author, talk radio host and shameless publicity hound. His marketing and publicity strategies have been featured in numerous magazines including: Selling, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Sales and Marketing Executive Report and many others. He is the co-host of the popular weekly home improvement radio program HOUSE STUDS www.HouseStuds.com He can be reached at 866 238 5294 or michael@MichaelHartSpeaks.com

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