Category Archives: Public Relations

Having good public relations can help your business establish its ascendancy over the other firms that provide the same product line and services offering. The key here is to establish an image of quality products and services. This is a way of securing good market thru keeping the customers’ peace of mind when they are dealing with you.

Being a good entrepreneur will always compel you to take heed onto what other people are saying around you. This is a way of gathering information. The strongest type of advertisement, after all, is the one that travels true from the mouths of friends and relatives. Having a good image will save money in advertisements.


Attracting Publicity to Your Business

Success in attracting media attention is always dependent on a business owner’s ability to put themselves in the journalists’ and readers’ shoes. This recognition in publicity campaigns is something that businesses can leverage to get more customers and, ultimately, more sales; but how does one get securing publicity?

Being knowledgeable of The Industry’s Trends

If you can identify the main reasons that bring clients to your business, you can begin to create story angles that you can use to attract media attention.

As an example, if you had a sudden remarkable increase in sales, find out the reasons why. If you can pinpoint the reasons why there is sudden influx of customers, then you’ve found something newsworthy.

Potential customers might be seeking specific services or buying a particular type of product; as a business owner, find out why, and develop your material from there.

Innovations are Always Newsworthy

Innovative products or services are also newsworthy. If you have something new to introduce to the market, rather than letting the features and benefits go in one presentation, think of something that makes your innovation unique and create your news angle from there.

Remember to Appeal to your Niche

One example is a mobile dog grooming service that caters to show dogs. If this is your business, don’t simply advertise your service in the hope that it will stand out among the other dog grooming businesses. Instead, create a story about the certain pressures that dog-owners go through on a dog show.

Doing this will make you come across as an expert and readers in your targeted niche will make connections based on that. Taking on this perspective also allows you the chance to mention that a specialist like you can help alleviate this pressure from the dog-owners.

Involve yourself with Charitable Institutions

Being charitable is another news angle. The importance of engaging in charitable institutions is the authenticity of your involvement and commitment. You can approach your local paper to get some local coverage if you’ve donated. During the coverage itself, focus on providing stories about the charity and the work that they do; only mention the donation in passing.

Focus on Why your Product or Services Benefit Customers

Don’t focus on the features of your product or services. Instead, get publicity for customers who are doing something amazing with your product or service. Focus on why this product has helped them and not on how. You can also feature your customer’s achievements in an industry magazine, and always remember to keep the story focused on the customer. This will not only foster client relationships, but your product or service will also be shown in a way that will attract new customers.

Find and Leverage Existing Opportunities

The products and services that you offer aren’t necessarily unique. You might offer the same products and services as anyone in the industry; but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get media exposure. You can do some background research on the target audience and get in touch with media organizations and ask for upcoming features. You can also try placing products as a part of a wider feature or buyer’s guide.


Get that Media Spot by Getting a Journalist’s Attention

As small business owners, everyone always wants to get a piece of the public relations pie. As much as possible, we want to get media exposure for our businesses, services, and products because this exposure provides big benefits. As easy as it may sound, getting that spot in any media takes a little-bit of know-how; and one of the main challenges that we have to face in getting that so-sought-after media spot is getting the attention of a journalist.

Journalists are the people who make interesting stories and angles for a certain type of media. They are the ones who create the news on print. They are the ones who post on expert websites, and they are the ones who provide radio and TV coverage for a story.

In short, journalists are our gatekeepers to the media world, and here are some tips on how to get their attention to cover your story.

1. Target Your Media

Nothing annoys a journalist more than having irrelevant information sent to them. There is such a practice called  ‘spray and pray’  wherein you just send your media pitches to whoever journalist’s email or answering machine service. The only thing that this approach does is find you a spot on the journalist’s junk mail folder or phone blacklist.

In order to target your media more effectively, select the three types of media you’d like to get into this quarter. Isolate these media and look for the journalists that cover your target niche. Try to get as much information as you can on your target journalists.

2. Create your News Hook

Once you’ve had your shortlist, it’s now time to create your news hook. A news hook is something that’s catchy and interesting about your business’ products or services. They can be stories, testimonials, videos, events, or anything under the sun that may want to make a journalist cover as an interesting story for his or her audience.

There are some guidelines though in creating your news hook. The first considerations are that an news hook should have relevance and proximity. A journalist who covers crime scenes or political happenings would likely not entertain your news hook (unless, of course, it’s related to crime and politics). Always remember your target journalists and create a news hook that is relevant to them. Moreover, a journalist from another part of the country would not be interested in covering an event that will be held at your local convention center.

Another consideration is immediacy. When creating news hooks, make sure that it’s very recent; like give it a range of about two days, past or future. No journalist wants to do a story on something that took place a few weeks ago. Also expect the same thing with events that haven’t happened yet.

3. Contact the Journalist Directly

Once you have the news hook, contact the journalist directly. Introduce yourself then give your quick media pitch. Don’t be afraid to cold-sell your news hook. Most often than not, someone doesn’t  get the chance to be interviewed the first time around. The key is to just keep on trying.

Furthermore,  even if a journalist says ‘No’ to your pitch, you can end the call by asking, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” Most of the time journalists get surprised and ask if you know someone who can help him or her out with a story. Providing help can make  you a relevant source. You may not get your story that time, but they will remember you favorably. Just remember that with a little bit of perseverance, an a little know-how, you will eventually get that coveted media spot.


Being a ‘Celebrity-Something’ doesn’t Necessarily Equate to Expertise

These days, many people seem to associate media exposure with credibility. If you have been invited to a well-known television show to talk about your business, your industry, and yourself, then  you must be an industry leader.  If you’ve been given a two and a half minute spot on a talk show, then you must be the expert. The more shows that you’ve been invited to guest, the higher your credibility is.

As a business owner, I’ve had my share of the limelight on different shows to talk about what my business is, and what I do. It was indeed such a great experience to reach out to a very big audience and let them know that an industry and a business such as ours exist.

Did I improve at my job right after the TV appearances? I don’t believe so. But I do mention those few minutes of fame in my personal and business profiles; and the results were kind of shocking.  I realized that most potential clients were quite impressed with the fact that I had personally met and chatted with well-known celebrities. I found this kind of star-struck awe a little distressing.

A few days ago, I read a commentary about the recent British royal wedding. To sum it up, the commentary was about the word ‘celebrity’ and how its use has changed the way people perceive someone. It postulates that putting the ‘celebrity’ as a prefix in terms such as ‘celebrity doctor,’ ‘celebrity chef,’ or ‘celebrity businessman’ represents an undisputed expertise in that person’s field. The addition of the word ‘celebrity’ to a job function somehow bestows a divine right to an individual to be the expert or the spokesperson for the industry.

The idea of expertise being bestowed  on to you by the media makes me uncomfortable. It might be true that you’ve got a great Public Relations person, and some knowledge to answer a few questions, but does it really equate to you or your business as being the expert in the field?

In today’s business environment, with its high regards to fans, followers, and friends, it is always a must to have unsurpassed marketing prowess. I’m also sure that everyone would agree that a well-oiled marketing machine is one of the key ingredients to a business. But there’s a caveat, indisputable credibility far exceeds tacky marketing.

If I were to consult a ‘celebrity surgeon’ for an operation, I wouldn’t be a bit impressed if the doctor said, “I guested on these shows and I know these celebrities personally.” I think I would be more interested at the doctor’s success rate regarding the procedure; but that’s just me.


How to Transform Media Exposure into Up-Selling Opportunities

Okay, so your business has been featured by a national newspaper. You’ve also been invited to write a regular column for an e-newsletter. You’ve also been invited to a radio show that wants your opinion regarding your industry’s issues. You’ve also gotten great reviews on an industry magazine. Likewise, you’ve been invited to a television show to air your opinion and plug-in your business.  Give yourself a pat-on-the-back for a job well done on your publicity efforts. So, what now?

The next logical step is to turn this momentum into a public relations campaign. What’s more is that you can use this campaign to generate more sales and remind existing customers that they’ve made the right choice.

Making an Impression on Existing Customers

If you’ve ever been impressed at a framed newspaper clipping or review of a restaurant you regularly dine in, then you definitely know the value of how media attention can remind current customers that they have made the right choice. These framed reviews showcase that when it comes to repeat customers like you, the restaurant has the skills and talent to be able to cater to your needs.

Moreover, these articles might also feature some services that the restaurant has that you didn’t even know existed. They might include some business meeting catering services or party catering services. Those framed newspaper clippings might also even allow you to consider them catering for your next business review meeting. Now, that’s an up-sell opportunity!

This is one way of how media exposure can be used to improve your business profile and credibility among existing customers. Let’s now look at other ways at how this media coverage can be converted into potential sales.

  • Make the coverage known to your existing customers. You can do this by sending materials to your customers that will inform them that a magazine, a TV show, or a radio program has just given your business the thumbs-up sign. One recent example that I can give is that an insurance company sent out postcards to all their customers mentioning that a business magazine ranked them as the top insurance provider of the industry.
  • Proudly display the press coverage. Like the example of the restaurant above, you can also frame these articles and display them in a part of your store or office that’s easily noticeable and readable by customers. You can also have videos of your TV interview play at the television in your reception area. This can be great conversation starters between you and your customers; and will allow you to easily plug-in other products or services in the meet.
  • Send out details of the upcoming media coverage to your customers in advance. Tell your customers to watch your appearance on TV, tune it to the radio show, or get a copy of the magazine that you were featured in. Doing this will make them more aware that you’re getting a strategic foothold in the industry; which in turn can make you their provider of choice.
  • Tie the media coverage to a promotion to increase sales. As an example, you can offer to give a discount on products or services to customers who can bring clippings of the newspaper of magazine articles.

Top tips for Article Writing

Here are some of the most practical and effective ways of writing an article that will capture the interest of both the clients and the target audience.

Provide useful information

You should be able to address your target audience’s concerns and in one way or another should offer some insights about how to go about them. The context of your article must somehow capture your audience’s interest and not entirely of your own.

Save the advertising for the author resource box

Reject any impulse to project self advertisement as the main context of your article; otherwise, it jeopardizes its credibility. Editors hate the fact that some writers do not know the difference of an article from a press release; and when they see one, they out rightly reject them. Your article’s priority is to give information rather than for advertisement purposes.

Use correct spelling

An erroneous article is good for nothing especially if its primary errors are in spelling. An error free article commands greater credibility.

Be aware of word count

Be sensitive of your readers’ need for brevity. Make your point concise and free from clutters. An ideal online article contains about 300 to 500 words. If you want your articles to really help the readers absorb the information you want to convey, then limit your words without actually limiting the ideas. This pointer is a premise to my next one…

Break up big blocks of text

You must be able to present your most important pointers with big blocks of text arranged in subheadings or bullet points. This is so you could highlight the essential ideas even if the readers are just skimming.

Use an effective framework

Sure there are a couple numbers of ways to write an effective article, but the following contains the most practical article writing framework I have been using in my writing jobs. It helps to get to know these pointers as it might help you along the way just as it does for me. .

1. Heading: Be sure to make an effective heading with a statement that clearly states the general context of the article. For example, efficient ways to lose weight.

2. Teaser paragraph: Include a brief yet beguiling article summary to give your readers the desire to continue reading the article.

3. Body: Use subheadings or bullet points in capturing the main ideas. And make sure to expound the most important things you wish to convey

4. Conclusion: make an effort to give your readers a short wrap-up that sums up the whole thing.

5. Author Resource Box: Make sure to state your identity, your purpose and your target audience. You could even include your website address or any contact details for a more comprehensive profile.

Follow the contributor guidelines

The success of your article also heavily depends on your adherence to the guidelines set forth by your contributor.

You may now start putting into practice whatever you have learned from these tips and witness firsthand if indeed it works.


Publicity – Free Vs Paid

It helps to be able to know which publicity is paid and which one is free; it hard is to tell sometimes but sure its benefits for your business is great. Here is how you can spot the difference and how to use it for your advantage.

I have a knack for telling and differentiating paid advertisements from free publicity. I developed it while working for more than a decade writing and doing marketing. It may be easy for me to tell the difference but most people find it that hard. Let me help you how it is done, and its benefits:

Paid advertising

It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize a paid advertising material mostly because it is apparent and obvious. Those of course are the materials you see during commercial breaks in TV and radio. These materials are also seen as those colourful publicity materials in some portions of a web page.


These are advertisements that are embedded in an article, mostly being projected as part of an editorial. Sometimes advertorials are presented in the form of news.

Free publicity

This is the kind of publicity of which clients do not necessarily pay for the advertisements they post on any media outlet. This is the job of a PR consultant; to help their clients secure this kind of publicity. This is seen in a form of articles or as news broadcast. Free publicity, despite for being free, is favoured and more trusted by the clients because of the credibility it possesses. Public relations expert make it a point to make good use of the recent news to embed their plans of projecting their clients as experts of the certain field. When the Government announced a significant change in its policies on home buyers’ grant, a number of people from all the other related industries made press releases and signifying their stand on the issue. This is their way of establishing their knowledge and authority to increase their credibility in their area of expertise. A good public relation performance is not having your work recognized once or twice. It is has to be a regular routine of your business. Meaning, you must reach a point when the media people automatically think of you when they are faced with queries on issues related to your area of expertise.

Paid advertising assures you that your products and businesses are advertised exactly the way you want it to be marketed by paying for it. However, it is not entirely credible. Free publicity on the other hand is viewed to be more credible and trusted by the people because of the way it is presented. The thing with free publicity is you really must exert an effort to stand out among your competition so that you will earn your ticket for free advertising.