The Increasing Power of Publicity/Media Exposure -- And How It Can Benefit Your Business.

Jun 5 19:07 2007 Todd Brabender Print This Article

Taking full advantage of the ever-expanding reach of the media.

The call came into my office and the voice on the other end was veryenergetic,Guest Posting almost giddy: "I have finalized my marketing budget andneed your help launching an advertising campaign for my new product,"he breathed. "Congratulations," I replied, "but before we implement anad campaign, I want to make sure you have explored potential PUBLICITYopportunities that could generate some cost-efficient media exposurefirst." Then, silence. "I never thought about that," he sighed."Frankly, I don't know much about it."He is not alone. It's a common conversation. Although manyentrepreneurs or business people know a bit about publicity or mediaexposure, the majority of them simply don't understand the fullbenefits of "publicity placements" or how to go about generating themsuccessfully. Publicity placements have always been a cost-efficientway to market a product/business and generate clients or customers,but because of lack of knowledge or a misunderstanding of whatpublicity is and does, many entrepreneurs don't take full advantage ofpublicity opportunities -- and that can lead to missed marketingchances.I recently surveyed a few dozen business owners and entrepreneurs insome newsgroups and business chat rooms about their knowledge of"publicity placements" in the media. I found out that only 37% knewthat a simple "product profile" in a magazine was generated as aresult of publicity efforts. Most thought the company had paid themedia outlet to run the feature, much like an ad. And of that 37%,less than half of them knew HOW to generate a similar placement.Another interesting fact, because of the recent slowdown in theeconomy, expensive advertising budgets have been slashed. As a result,many businesses, like your competitors, are turning to publicity/PRcampaigns as a more affordable means of marketing to compete withother companies. Here are some ways to use publicity placements tohelp your business:Editorial Placements/Media NotificationWhat some entrepreneurs might not realize is that we see editorialplacements from publicity efforts everyday in the media: productprofiles, feature articles and contributed by-lined articles inmagazines, newspapers, trade industry newsletters or on TV/radio/cablenewscasts & shows. This is not advertising, this is "EDITORIALPlacement" or "Media Notification" of a product, business or industryexpert. Notify the appropriate media that your newsworthy product ison the market or your business is offering a unique new service andlet them run a feature placement that will spread that message to yourconsumer market. These placements can detail your product or businessvery effectively, giving consumers some objective, pertinentinformation that may well entice them to become future customers.These editorial placements are looked upon much more credibly than adplacements. That is not a slam on advertising. Paying for advertisingplacements is indeed an effective way to market your product. But thefact is, a positive editorial placement such as a product profile in amagazine or a newspaper can be much more persuasive than a glossy,over-hyped advertisement - and a fraction of the cost. My point isthat editorial placements are an often time overlooked marketingvehicle for a business, and that entrepreneurs should understand thefull benefits of these placements to make the most of their marketingefforts.Editorial placements are a wonderfully reciprocal way for you and themedia to work together for the betterment of your business. The medianeeds to fill its pages and airtime with interesting information -- and you need to get the word out to your market. Research the mediamarket to find those media outlets and editorial contacts with whichyou can forge that mutually beneficial relationship. But you have todo your part and do it right - or the media will forge thatrelationship with your competitor. Make sure your media message issolid, contains newsworthy angles and isn't disguised as overlycommercialized ad copy. Have high-quality photos and media samplesavailable and do all you can to make the media's job of featuring yourproduct as simple as possible. It also helps to have some sort ofclipping service in place to track your placements and get you copiesso you can use them in your secondary marketing programs.Expert BrandingThis type of publicity placement generating takes advantage of theexpert knowledge within a particular business. It is an effective toolfor entrepreneurs whose businesses are more service related, likeconsultants or specialists. Expert branding basically treats theexpert like a product. Alert the media as to your expertise on aspecific topic and avail yourself to serve as an expert interviewresource for future articles or news feature segments. Additionally,the expert should write a few brief articles on a specialized topicand make them available to editors for review and possiblepublication. The challenge of this type of publicity placement is thetedious task of finding out which outlets accept "expert editorialcontributions" or contributed by-lined articles in their publications.Again, it comes down to meticulously researching your media market tofind those media outlets that may be in need of the editorial contentthat you can provide them.With some creativity, expert branding can be effective forproduct-based businesses as well. One client of mine runs a fresh wildsalmon distribution business in the Pacific Northwest and was lookingto increase consumer awareness of his products. Based on his more than20 years of experience in the wild salmon harvesting business, we areexpert branding him as a viable interview resource to health/foodeditors for features detailing the differences and benefits of wildsalmon over farm-raised fish, as well as other related topics. In thiscase, my client (the expert) is identified and quoted in features andthe name of the business and even a link to a website are oftenincluded for consumers to check out. This is great credibilitybuilding exposure at little or no cost.Overall, when using the media to help market your product or business,take advantage of as many FREE media opportunities as you can. If youlack the expertise or time, a PR agency or publicist can generate theeditorial placements for you. But the fee you pay them is a FRACTIONof what it would cost you to buy similar sized ad placements. Andthose publicity placements typically lead to a much better consumerresponse right out of the gate - which is just what you need to boostyour business to the next level.-------

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Todd Brabender
Todd Brabender

Todd Brabender is the President ofSpread The News Public Relations, Inc.His business specializes in generating media exposure and publicityfor innovative products, businesses, experts and inventions. 842-8909

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