I have had my eyes opened wide this year to the value of getting mainstream media to notice and promote products and services and to include expert quotes in articles. Through the sole vehicle of this blog, I attracted the following press this year:
- Business Week
- People Magazine
- Jane Magazine
- The Boston Globe
- The Baltimore Sun
- The Arizona Republic (my hometown paper – story coming out soon!)
- USA Today
- Greenstone Media
- And a ton of smaller independent radio/podcasts/blogs
I find the whole thing totally amazing, as this comes from the power of blogging on a particular topic on a regular basis. It makes me giddy, actually.
Mainstream media can give you the kind of exposure that a million marketing campaigns cannot. And most importantly, they can help establish you as an expert in your field, which is critical to developing trust with prospective clients and customers. It is kind of the “second half” of credibility that you can match with your blogging efforts.
Joan Stewart, known as the “Publicity Hound”, just had a quick and dirty excerpt in her newsletter that I thought was a great framework for creating a media plan for next year.
I encourage ALL of you who are about to launch or are currently in business for yourselves to create a media plan in addition to a marketing plan for next year. I think you will be happy with the results! Says Joan:
“Many of you have emailed me the last few weeks asking for guidance on how to create a 2007 media plan.
Here’s the 60-second answer:
- Create what I call your “Top 25 Media Hit List.” These are online and offline media that reach your target audience and are a perfect fit with your topic. You might have fewer or more than 25. The number isn’t important. But it’s better to target fewer media outlets instead of more, so you can spend time forming strong relationships with media people.
- Identify one person at each outlet as your main contact.
- Research each media outlet by visiting their websites, watching the programs or reading the publications. For newspapers and magazines, refer to their 2007 editorial calendars.
- Create a list of story ideas that each media outlet would be interested in and customize each idea as much as possible.
- Then start pitching.
For most Publicity Hounds, the hardest part is creating the list of story ideas. Help is on the way.
My friend, TV reporter Shawne Duperon, joined me during two teleseminars in which we brainstormed a total of 219 story ideas from January through December. Some of them work better for TV, and some work better for print. Many of the ideas apply across all industries. Some are industry-specific.
We encourage you to steal as many ideas as you need so you can create a 2007 media plan fairly quickly and get a jump on your competitors. Each recording is available as a CD and comes with a downloadable list of all the ideas for those six months, for easy reference.
116 WOW! Story Ideas from January through June and
103 Sizzling Story Ideas from July through December ”
Reprinted from “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” an ezine featuring tips, tricks and tools for generating free publicity.
Subscribe at http://www.publicityhound.com/ and receive by email the handy list “89 Reasons to Send a News Release.
Joan is one of those people who is the “real deal.” She has been around for a long time, has great wisdom and is recognized as an expert in her field. I feel totally comfortable recommending her products and services.
I am going to really amp up my media efforts next year, for the sole purpose of inspiring broader, deeper revolution among the masses. Someone has to counter the gloom and doom out there about corporate jobs!
I have just viewed your Blog and it is so fruitful for me as I am on my way to lunch my promoting newspapers.
Thanks for the advices, and comming back to you.
It is a good blog and I really enjoy reading this blog.
Pam and everyone else who has commented,
I really enjoy reading this blog first of all. You who also read probably feel better about yourself after reading Pam’s words. One slight spin on commenting in someone else’s blog to get media attention. If you don’t have a story that is timely, building your credibility on other blogs is a great way to prepare for when you do have a timely piece, like a product launch or event. Also, commenting on someone else’s blog, an influential one, that has more than 500 regulars (Technorati and Blog top sites are 2 that tell you how many sites are linking to a blog) gives you great visibility, only if you are commenting in the first 3 to 4 spots. This comment of mine is only going to be noticed by Pam because her service notifies her of it. But I still get a link from her site to mine, which increases my blog ranking. so be the first to comment and you vastly improve your chances of being heard.
Pam, I know that this media plan is aimed more for those in business or starting a business.
But as someone is working on creating a freelance writing career, I found this post very useful. I’ve only recently discovered the blogosphere and all the wonderful information that people like you provide. Thank you. Needless to say, I’ve added you to my daily reads.
This is such great advice. Thanks, Pam and Joan. For those new to the world of PR, I would also suggest that you pay attention to lead times and publication deadlines. Magazines need to hear from you months in advance of when you want the story to run (check out their deadline/theme calendars on the “advertiser” or “media kit” portion of their websites), newspapers weeks in advance — especially if the story is tied in to a holiday or an event, and so on. Also, you don’t want to call a reporter when they’re on deadline a weekly or daily deadline, so try figure out when that is or just use email.
And since we’re talking about self-promo, allow me to introduce myself (hope you’ll forgive the shamelessness):
author, The Anti 9-to-5 Guide (Seal Press, 2007)
May I clarify a few things that Graydon commented on?
First, you identify the best person at each media outlet by doing your homework. That includes:
–Reading the publication. If there’s a masthead in the newspaper or magazine, it might include a list of the topics or “beats” the reporter covers. If you’re a small-business person, for example, you might want to contact the small business reporter.
–If you’re not sure who to contact, call the media outlet and ask them who you should call to pitch a story idea.
–If you read the publication regularly, you’ll know which writers cover certain types of stories.
Regarding blogs, they are an excellent way to catch the attention of journalists. Why? Because many journalists do research online before writing their stories. So include bloggers on your “Top 25” media hit list. Use the Technorati search engine to find bloggers who are writing about your topic.
Also, many journalists are now blogging. Once you’ve identified a journalist who you want to pitch, Google their name and see what you can find online. You might stumble onto their blog.
Don’t pitch directly at their blog. Instead, post a comment to their blog, simply commenting on something they’ve written about.
Then email them a few days later and pitch your idea.
Most people think everything I’ve suggested here is way too much trouble. That’s why people who follow my advice get the publicity.
I think I’ve just found a new favourite blog (via a Greenstone Media story). Dunno how I’ve missed it.
I’ve already spent way too much time on it today.
Thanks for your comments Graydon … you are so right that the “how” can be half the battle if media relations is all new to you. Joan said that this was the “60-second answer” – the longer one includes how to do it. She has great tips in her newsletter – that is a great place to start. I learn something new every issue. PR and Media relations is very new to me too.
Ryan hit the nail on the head with his interpretation of what I was trying to say … all this media came by the one means of blogging. Imagine what is possible with a targeted media campaign and active engagment with the media.
Thanks for putting the right words in my mouth Ryan!
Pam, you always seem to say exactly what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. A friend and I are about to launch a new product and media promotion will be key to its success. Thank you!
The way I interpreted this post was [paraphrasing] . . . “I really learned how valuable media promotion is this year. I got all of these media mentions just by writing a great blog on a specific topic. Just think what I can do if I follow Joan’s advice and make a concerted effort to attract more media attention!”
It still may be way off base, but I think it speaks to your mention of contradiction.
Happy holidays to all – here’s to bountiful success in the new year!
The list of what to do makes sense after reading it… but I realized that it’s missing a significant HOW.
How do you identify 1 person at the outlet as your contact person?
It doesn’t matter how many story ideas I can come up with or leverage from Joan if we don’t know how to find that ear within the org that would listen.
Not to be negative… but your opening paragraphs highlight how you attracted media through the blog… which is not in line with Joan’s recommendations to target the media with “stories”. Maybe you didn’t mean to make it sound like it was accidental that they stumbled across the blog… but it did.
So, to end on a constructive note… Your highlighting Joan’s point about targeting media… how did you do that in 2006 to get those on your bullet list to stop by and notice?