Have you always wondered how your competitors are getting write-ups and articles in newspapers, magazines and trade journals? You constantly submit articles and press releases but none of them have gotten published. You ask yourself why, only to find out the reasons can be resolved quickly.
Here are ways you can raise your visibility in a cluttered marketplace:
1. Understand that newspapers, magazines and trade journalists are not interested in providing sales content to their readers.
They are interested in providing content that is newsworthy and that is going to interest their readers. For instance, if you are located in Atlanta and you are holding a food drive for local shelters during the holidays, most likely larger city newspapers like the LA Times are not going to be interested in the story because it is not local to their readers. However, if you were to pick a nationwide angle – how hunger is rampant in the USA and how local businesses can help feed the hunger in those cities, would probably be more interested in the story. Press releases, email and telephone pitches and query letters are the ways to touch base with the media. If a journalist shuns you, don’t take offense. Most media pros are bombarded with badly written pitches from annoying and self-serving business owners or obnoxious PR people.
2. Be smart and plan strategically.
If you have someone on staff that understands PR and how the media works, have them take care of all PR related work. If not, then hire a PR professional to plan your PR strategy, implement and execute all objectives. If you are a clothing retailer looking to segment more affluent markets, in addition to purchasing higher quality brands, you will need to draft a PR plan that demonstrates how you will get into local and national luxury magazines such as W, Vogue, Golf Digest and get involved in more charity events.
3. Don’t try to create a market for your product or service.
Find a market that is insatiable and greedy for whatever you are trying to sell. Research, research, and research more. Read trade journals and conduct surveys through online and print questionnaires.
In order to be successful, you should understand everything about your market – buying behaviors, gender, education, income, hobbies, publications read, and household income. Buy a list of names of people who have made purchases that are similar to the products or services that are you selling. If you try to make a market for what you are trying to sell, you will not be successful.
4. Positioning your brand and creating a unique selling proposition are very important when it comes to communicating with your market.
Conveying the same message across the board is important as it creates consistency and breeds familiarity within your market. Your market should know what to expect from you every single time they make a purchase, visit your website, and deal with customer service. For instance, your brand should be consistent, just like McDonalds, Nordstrom, and Target. Every single time a customer visits one of these retailers, they know what to expect from the caliber of the product, service and pricing.
Remember patience and cooperation are the keys to getting publicity. Use proper media etiquette and give the media newsworthy content and see your brand go through the roof.
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