I know someone who can explain your product better than you can ...

Journalism in America deserves its share of criticism but despite the media’s faults, they have a good side and my company sees it every day. Over the last two decades our publicists have set up tens of thousands of stories with countless reporters and producers. When it comes to writing about companies and the products they produce, I’ve found that members of the media do a wonderful job. From our vantage point, the media are really quite remarkable.

Reporters and producers are gifted communicators and story tellers. They can often explain a company’s product better than the company that makes it. Journalists have knack for understanding the nuances and complexities of products, and they quickly get how their audience will benefit from hearing about them.

As much as people complain about the media, they serve as important and effective filters when interfacing with businesses. I cringe to think at how self-serving the stories would be if our clients were allowed to write them themselves. Brand managers and others who are responsible for promoting products get so wound up in how great their products are, they get a little brainwashed by their own words. Within their cloistered world, negative feedback can be nonexistent.

Because reporters have no vested interest in sucking up to the CEO or anyone else, they strip away the shameless self promotion and get to the brass tacks of what people need. And isn’t that really what drives the sale: the need?

A reporter’s perspective is also more in line with an average customer’s view of products than the people who dream them up and make them. The best product stories are told when the audience perceives them as truthful and unbiased. That’s where the real magic of the media’s branding and selling power takes place.

It’s always better to have someone else say good things about you than brag about yourself.

Persuading journalists to do stories about your product is like getting endorsements on steroids. Reporters who choose to tell your product’s story over all the other stories they could do that day usually have a keen personal interest. They may not come right out and say it, but it’s implied that they like your product and think it is important that their audience learns about it.

It’s hard to think of a more cost-effective way to market to the masses than having reporters talk about your product in their own words. Many of our clients have been with us for more than ten years. Week after week, month after month, year after year, journalists across the country tout their products to the public. One nice story is great but imagine the impact of hundreds and hundreds over years and years. Sadly, publicity is often the most underused channel in the promotional mix. Not for our clients though. Just sad for their competitors.

Give us a call and we’ll get journalists doing stories about your product. We are going to be on the phone with the media anyway. The only question is if you want our publicists to be mentioning your product.

 

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About the author: Lonny pioneered the concept of our nationally trademarked Pay Per Interview Publicity business model which allows clients to purchase publicity by the story rather than pay hourly with no guarantee of coverage. His business foresight is evident in many ways including quickly reserving portal web addresses such as publicity, media relations, and checkerboard, and advising clients to do the same. Lonny has written two books: Media Hypnosis: Unleashing the most powerful sales tool on earth, published in 2002 and Reach & Teach Product Promotion: Teaching Consumers to BUY in 2007. In his spare time, Lonny teaches marketing as an adjunct faculty member at Dakota Technical College.
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