What really causes us to adopt a new idea or try new things? Influence. Publicity enables you to promote your product with influence. Our interpersonal relationships exert some of the strongest influences in our lives. After that, we’re often guided by what we learn from publicity and online content.
Control versus influence
In reality there’s quite a difference between the control channels and the influence channels. The main control channel is advertising. When you place ads, you have total control over them. You decide what they say, what they show and where they appear. You pay your money for them and choose exactly what you’ll get. But consumers know you’re doing this. They know your ads are carefully calculated to have a certain effect.
The influence channels, on the other hand, are not so simple. Publicity is not an easy, “just because I want it I can have it” channel. It’s different from an advertisement. It’s an opportunity to serve the media and your audience, and enjoy the result: your product being tactfully included in media stories, in a manner that resonates with your market.
It’s exciting to help people understand publicity. Once they see how it can help them, their next question is often, how do they get started?
The startup process for arranging publicity
The first steps are outlining strategy and gaining clarity. We help clients clarify:
- Company vision and mission. Where do they want their company to go, and how are they going to get there?
- Primary market segment. Who are clients primarily serving, and what does an audience need to hear about the product?
- Messenger. Keeping the media in mind, who would be the best spokesperson to deliver their message?
- Promotional channels. Which platforms would cover a certain subject matter?
- Keywords. What related phrases are consumers searching for online, even when they don’t know a product’s name? Our digital marketers can conduct research into this.
With these guidelines in place, we start to develop content. Then it’s time for testing.
Publicity content can’t be tested by a mass email program. We pitch story ideas to the media and co-produce stories with them. We look at: Can we generate coverage? Then, can we scale it? Do the stories work in multiple markets and on multiple promotional channels? Publicity really becomes a mass promotional tool when you’re able to scale it: when you can generate coverage from coast to coast in broadcast, print and digital media. That’s when it becomes a campaign rather than a project.
The importance of co-producing
To achieve scaleable publicity, you need a knowledgeable co-producing strategy. You need to provide the additional tools which the media will need to do a story. To do this, we carefully consider what will help reporters and producers run stories about your product.
Co-producing stories with our media contacts does two things: It helps us tailor stories that producers and journalists want to run. And it helps create quality content that can attract ‒ and hold ‒ audience attention.
Building a relationship
There are people who say they are just looking to get exposure for their product. That’s good, if consumers are going to see a product once and buy it. But rarely do people respond so rapidly. You need repetition and building. Not everyone is ready for this.
In short, marketing is stressful. Making sales is a stressor we all share. Unless something is sold, nothing happens. It’s a tough and scary place to be. Our marketing agency understands risk; our earnings from publicity are based on being able to get media coverage for our clients.
Promotions that succeed tend to have some similarities. When you hear those bootstrapping entrepreneurial success stories, what they have in common is products that deliver on their promises. They communicate clearly and consistently to their market. Their promotional campaigns don’t get hijacked by kneejerk reactions. They tend to have focus and commitment.
Influence is about building trust and credibility. It’s about showing that you have solutions. And that’s what media coverage does.
To discuss publicity further, give me a call at 952-697-5269. As you can tell, I love helping people navigate marketing and promotional channels. We’ll have a productive conversation.