Have you picked out your Oscar’s night outfit? I have. You should. Have you thought about what you will say when you accept your award? I have. You should. At least in your mind, that wonderful playground for imagination – the very place we are going to venture today for great publicity ideas.
Razzle, dazzle, sparkle, and shine. Isn’t this how we think all those stars get to the Oscars in the first place? However, it’s less glitter, and more planning that creates the reality. First comes the dream, then the work, then usually a host of disappointments to test the resolve, then a series of small successes, and then….publicity. It is a fairly predictable road, but often as business people we forget to plan our own personal Oscar’s night.
We also miss the key ingredient – publicity. Marketing is what gets you in front of your target market to make the sale. Publicity is the spotlight that shines on you and solidifies you with mass appeal as the popular expert in your field. You drive marketing to your buyers. Publicity drives the masses of buyers to you.
When your focus has been marketing it’s a little tricky to change your paradigm to publicity. However, the important difference between marketing and publicity is your target audience. You are no longer pitching to buyers of your product or service, now your audience is the media. This means editors and producers. These important people are looking for one thing, the story. A unique story. Something inspirational, motivational, newsworthy, or educational. Period. Nothing else will do.
In order to be successful in the media you have to think like a publicist and find your unique story. If you don’t have a story, it’s time to create one. What is unique about you or your business? Sometimes it’s an attitude. Like the employer that regularly asked her employees what they didn’t like about their jobs and then proceeded to shift responsibilities. It may be an event, like a charitable event that raises money for starving children but serves beans and rice at the gala event to demonstrate how it feels to be poor. It may be your wit, your way of thinking, what you care most about, or how you integrate your values into your business. Only, you can find it, but trust me, it’s there.
Begin to explore your own unique angles and media curves by keeping notes on your thoughts and attitudes. Scribble, color, or paint it out – it really doesn’t matter as long as you begin to devote time to exploring your “story”. Not your ad, not your price, not your product, but your story.
Once you’ve angled into your own unique media offerings, find the appropriate avenues to make your pitch. Take care though, the media should always be treated with good will and respect. Do not, I repeat, do not go for the hard sell. This is not the time. If you must, save the hard sell for marketing, or better yet, chuck it all together. Do not wheedle, whine, or beg the media. Make your pitch, respect their time, and their decision, then work toward building long term relationships. In the end, you’ll have the kind of names in your pocket to begin dropping at parties, and you will be a star! A star with the mind of a publicist.
See you at the Oscars!
Recommended Books on Public Relations and How to Be Successful in the Media:
- Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
- The AMA Handbook of Public Relations
- Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (10th Edition)
- Making News: A Straight-Shooting Guide to Media Relations
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