When all of you business people and creative artists engage in a PR campaign to increase your visibility and success of your products and projects, you are doing the right thing. Two reasons: PR campaigns are not as expensive as Adveristing, and PR campaigns secure you legitimacy and credibility because you are a news story! Advertising is “you” telling others with adjectives that you are good; PR campaigns are designed to let the truth of your business wisdom and the integrity of your product, be talked about and shown in action images and action verbs by news people! Advertising is “I am great”, a very flat and cliche sentiment. PR campaigns are: “We, the reporters want to tell people that you are great!”, and that lasting impression is the only one to foster. The reality of you through a news lens hones your message, and the reality of you through Advertising can often blur and be forgotten. People remember “what you do for them: what you provide”! People easily forget the Advertising crutch on which you lean as you say, “I am great!”.
That said, there is something that all of you should know about yourselves: You are probably a good news story. Anyone who has started a business or who has continued one successfully has their own valid story that is a source of wisdom for others. That is why saying What you do and What you have done is of infinite importance. Saying that “I am great!” is of no importance. After 16 years in PR in which I created such segments (in concert with my clients and with the media people) as The First Ever National TV Demonstration of Chinese Herbs for Colds and Flu ; The First Ever Acupuncture Demonstration on a National TV Show; and First Ever Alternative Health segments on venues as diverse as “The View” to”The O’Reilly Factor” , I KNOW that your knowlege is the thing that attracts Media Attention. There is nothing you need to change to cookie-cut yourself into attention. It is in the distillation of knowledge that all of these segments were based; rather than based on a desperation to Sell! And having the foundation of knowledge to share, guided each of these segments into being money-makers for the clients: in terms of selling products and in terms of getting them new clients for themselves. In fact, on a segment on “The View” where I booked an author who was associated with Magnetic therapy Products, I told her distinctly to NOT try to remember all of the products and not to say them over and over (something the standard media trainers befuddle clients with. I told her: Be Yourself; friendly and low-key and let Star Jones and Barbara Walters and Meredith Viera make the jokes and just fit in: The View’s website would have all your contact info listed, so make a lovely impression and treat The View Ladies as friends and not a Tupperware Party and let it BE!
She got so much attention from the viewership it was not funny: it was off the charts! Edcuate, don’ sell! The fact she was NOT selling with every answer, made the audience identify that much more with what she was saying and The View hosts more interested!
The thing that you need most to focus on is your own backstory and knowledge. Whether you have (or do not have) a good PR person to guide you; the inner guide you need is to picture the circle of potential communication venues that surround you. Forget cliches about “taking it to a whole new level”: business is not an elevator and you do not want to spend your life in the Virtual Mezzanine! Forget cliches about “hitting the ground running” ,because Ouch! that really hurts! Forget the cliche about “groundbreaking”, because you want to harvest, not just plant seeds. And forget about “trail-blazing” because it’s not the trail, it’s seeing the forest that IS the trees! You want to think: Circle. Like artisans’ guilds from The Renaissance to The M-G-M movie factory to the world of Pop Art or to the world of Yoga; there is always a Circle of kindred spirits who are ready for you and whom you are already part of, and you want to invite ore people in. The only way is to think is of joning a circle by becoming a positve link in it, and then feeling it ever-expanding as you feed it your expertise.
Business People have too long been talked down to by PR seminars and certain PR types that mystify and obscure the Bold Simplicity of being a Success. Disdain cliches and disdain Advice. Only you know your business, literally. You are the mind and work and spirit that began something; and you can take the time to be objective. You can take the time to measure how it is of service to your community. And you can recall the obstacles and hurdles that did not stop you. Those are two essentials as you focus your role inside the circle! Those are two things that you can distill on paper or a laptop and then take a relaxed breath and REALIZE: I have got a press release of sorts!
I say “of sorts” because you most certainly have the basis of an excellent press release: If you are telling your story objectively and telling how you work each moment in real time and how it impacts the community for the better; and then telling how you succeeded against adveristy and you use a real story to depict these two facts; you are beginning the most important profile of yourself. Then when you add where and when your product/project is available, you now have a press release. No advertising can replace the truth of what you do or enhance it. Only this template: the hard facts and the inspiration of continuing to contribute something with your business/product can Attract!
Remember, at this point in history, Sales Pitches repel! Why? Because everyone can Google and find anything that they want, even by accident! Education and Social Media have combined to give a Brainpower Tsunami that leaves salespitching for those who walk up to you, no matter where you are and say, “Can I help you with something?” and to which you always say, “No, I’ll know it when I see it”. The Used Car Lot approach is done. You cannot sell media people anything. They have just gotten off the phone with General Petraues or Kristin Stewart, and don’t really have the time to hear “I wanna sell you this client….they’re Great…they”re fabulous…..they’re Ginchy, Baby…….”.
News people are (Thank God) like the Jack Webb of Dragnet Fame: “Just the fact, Ma’am”…and I say that is the mantra that you live and love to hear! Because it takes you to the successful finish line of the Chase and delivers you, by offering you the few essential seconds to say: Yes, I DO this thing and it DOES this for the community!”
Then you are home free, without Advertising and without Selling.In other words, I have given you the Key and now you can turn the Lock, or as many Locks as you want!
For The Holidays: Get Your Business Into The News! Use the Bold Simplicity I have outlined. With no cliches, write down What you DO: why it works so well and what it does for the community. Write down, without any boasting, your backstory: what got you to pursue your passion and what factors keep you animated to continue on! and then write down the method people use to find/buy your product/service. Do it without adjectives; use verbs to carry the forward motion and the positive results that you attain.
Then take this basic press release and see the results as news desks recieve your email (you can find the emails for local news desks on the repsective websites quite easily) and return your email because you have given them a template for Action. They are thinking of taping you, interviewing you, because you have given them a mental picture of what you do. And know that if you sent them a flowery advertisement that they would gag and properly so; because flowery adjectives should make people gag, and why send this to news people who just got off the phone with Chris Christie or Adele?
Remember: Brennan’s PR Law; if you know your business, you are an Educator! Start educating the media and the public about your area of expertise and then you will be sought out. It happens over and over: journalists are curious people by nature and hunger for knowledge. They DO NOT WANT SALES PITCHES! They want intelligent and simple writing that explains your knowledge adn they want it in a few neatly polished paragraphs! THAT is the only thing that will get them to call you back. And that is THE ONE THING that will keep you in their database.
Educate and Bring Yourself Success for the Holidays.
And now that I have given away the store, I’m going to go looking for clients. Good Luck is waiting for those who Teach the Media and the Public. Business will Boom when sales-pitching is gone.
Happy Holidays. Oh, here comes a client now!