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Smart PR Strategies
By: Developer Shed
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    Smart PR Strategies
    by Kevin Nunley

    Paul opens his favorite business magazine to find a fawning
    interview with Amazon's Jeff Bezos. Then he picks up the
    morning paper and reads a long story on a new donut chain
    being built in his town. Later he catches a feature piece on
    CNN about a guy who sells funny handmade shoes and
    learns accounting secrets from a CPA in Ohio.

    Media hands out millions of dollars in free publicity every
    day. As well as advertising works, a media story about you
    almost always pulls better. The familiar and respected voice
    of a newspaper editor, magazine writer, TV reporter, or
    radio personality talking about you holds lots of weight with
    the audience.

    How do all these businesses get media coverage? The
    secret varies depending on what your business does and
    HOW BIG it is.

    Large in-the-news businesses like get
    coverage for practically any development. Political figures
    find their words in the media for almost any
    pronouncement. The local college football team gets press
    even if there is nothing much to cover.

    A Different PR Strategy For Small Businesses

    Your small business can have a much tougher time if you try
    to approach media the same way big organizations do.
    Media is almost entirely owned by large conglomerates and
    staffed by media pros who have never worked in a small
    business. The overall industry mindset is that big business is
    news and small business is--well--rarely news.

    This all changes, though, if you offer good information or
    advice that will be helpful to the media outlet's audience.
    Newspapers love it when a tax expert offers tips around tax
    return time. Radio stations get a big kick out of anyone
    who can keep their audience laughing. TV likes anything
    that is visual and brings out emotion (hide the keys to a new
    car in a pool of jello, ask contestants to swim to win, and
    watch every TV station in town turn out).

    Let's focus on you as the media savvy expert. This is
    without question the best strategy for consistently getting
    your small business in the media.

    Start by taking inventory of the areas you are, or could
    become, an expert in. Think in terms of the kinds of
    information a general audience would find interesting,
    helpful, or moving (these days many in the media try less to
    explain and more to create emotion).

    If you have a day care center, make a list of ten ways tired
    parents can keep an energetic youngster entertained and
    learning. Run an auto body shop? How about ways to
    avoid getting taken by mechanics and insurance companies
    after an accident.

    If your area of expertise can relate to a hot topic in the
    news--all the better! Historians, lawyers, detectives, and
    political scientists get in the media several times each year
    by giving informed tips relating to an event or scandal in the
    news. You may even be able to provide a local angle for a
    national story.

    Finding Media Who Will Cover You

    I have found the best way to get covered by newspapers is
    to first find the reporter who handles stories like yours.
    Read through the paper's web site. It usually tells which
    reporters are assigned to particular topics (like the business
    editors or technology reporter). Many papers give reporters
    wide leeway in what stories they cover. Call the reporter
    and deliver a short, too-the-point message on why you have
    a story THEIR AUDIENCE would find interesting. Get to
    the juicy, memorable part first.

    Follow up quickly with a press release, question and answer
    page, and a bio about your business history (sometimes
    called a backgrounder).

    This same strategy works well for getting covered in
    magazines, industry journals, and on major web sites. Use
    search engines to find articles on topics that match your
    business. Look up the article, find the author's email
    address, and suggest another related story that, of course,
    includes your business or expert information. This often
    works surprisingly well to generate PR for you. has a service where journalists and writers can
    post topics they are trying to get information on. As a
    business or non-profit, you pay $50 to $100 per year to see
    these posts. Your multiply your chances of getting covered
    by ten when you respond to a reporter with good usable

    Magazines often post a list of subjects they will be covering
    from one issue to the next throughout the year. This is
    particularly true of industry publications.

    Expanding To Radio

    While you have your media materialss in hand, call local talk
    and news radio shows. Speak with the host or producer.
    Explain what is interesting about your information and,
    again, follow up with your release, Q&A, and bio.

    The same strategy can work for getting you on top radio
    morning shows. Radio comprises well over half of all the
    media outlets in the US and many other countries. Don't
    over look it.

    As you get media coverage, collect quotes from the media
    folks who have worked with you.

    "Jean kept the phones lit up for an hour"
    KXXX San Diego, CA

    "Interesting information every home owner should know."
    The Daily News Canton, OH

    Build your list of stations and publications your business has
    been featured in. Include reprints when possible. Media
    folks love to cover stories and feature experts who have
    already been successful elsewhere.

    Stay in touch with media who cover you. Send a
    handwritten thank you note to editors, reporters, and on-air
    personalities. Make sure YOU are the expert they think of
    when your topic comes up in the news throughout the year.

    Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and
    promotional packages. See all his tips to help your business
    or career at Reach Kevin at or 801-328-9006.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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