Use these marketing techniques as your business enters the COVID-19 reopening phase

I sent a memo to some key people in our agency asking them to recommend ways to help you make more sales as the country reopens. Their recommendations (below) are not hypothetical. These people have implemented each of these tactics hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of times. 

You will notice that they talk a lot about media stories. The best way to understand our agency is to think of us as a news organization that specializes in ferreting out and distributing product news stories. A natural extension of having arranged tens of thousands of news stories over the last 30 years is repurposing those stories. 

Let me give you an easy way to understand why we are different from all other agencies. Pretty much everything agencies do fits neatly into four categories: Ads, Website, Social Media and Publicity. Almost all agencies lead with ads. What makes our agency unique is that we lead with publicity. Getting media coverage is much, much harder than buying ads. That’s why most agencies don’t ever bother with it. The nice thing is, if you do a difficult job no one else wants to do, you can make a lot of money at it. 

To make it even more difficult for competitors, we take on risk by charging per story rather than by the hour. Trust me, 30 years of working under the concept of “we don’t get paid unless we get our client’s stories in the media” has made us very scrappy. 

Below are just a few of the ways Media Relations Agency can call attention to your business, at a time when you really need that attention. 

My name is Krista Wignall and I’m a publicist at Media Relations Agency. Soon the media will be tired of covering COVID-19, and begging for new stories. I’ve been a publicist for 10 years and a TV producer before that. I know how the media works. I can call my media contacts on your behalf and persuade them that it’s beneficial for their audiences to learn about your company and its products. I can also coach you on how to give a fantastic media interview. 

My name is Lindsay Helgeson and I’m a Senior Trade Communications Specialist at Media Relations Agency. I love working with the trade media, especially health and wellness topics. I can get the right editorial eyes to see your products and services as the best to include within their articles that will reach your target audience. I can also ensure your company and product messaging align with what the industry is asking for. Then I can show you how to get more mileage out of your targeted stories by sharing them in many different ways. 

My name is Jennifer Hanson and I’m a senior publicist at Media Relations Agency. The media are looking for stories unrelated to the coronavirus. Don’t wait much longer to engage our publicists in arranging media coverage. Now is the perfect time to reach out to the media about your business and get them excited about sharing your story. I have trusted media contacts eager to hear about your product. 

My name is Robin Miller. I’m Media Relations Agency’s editor-in-chief. I can take the burden of writing social media posts off your shoulders. Your customers will be checking your social pages frequently. I write marketing content all day, every day. Plus, everything I produce is written in the media’s preferred AP-style, so reporters and producers will find your story credible, and audiences will trust what it says.    

My name is Kris Best and I’m a Content Manager at Media Relations Agency. People are spending more time than ever online. I love to write, and I can use my writing skills and knowledge of technology to draw attention to your product online. I can get your message in front of the right people by running digital ads and/or social media influencer campaigns. I can also write emails, blogs and social media posts that thoughtfully share your plans for reopening. 

My name is Claire Ryan and I’m a Digital Marketing Manager at Media Relations Agency.

I’m big on scheduling. I’m the person to ensure you have a constant, uninterrupted stream of sales messages flowing from your company. I bug people a lot to get things done. I don’t like it when there is a gap in marketing because I know sales are being missed. Fortunately we have a good team of talented people here who can quickly produce ads and content for you. 

My name is Katie Hanson and I’m a Graphic/Web Designer at Media Relations Agency. I can keep your website up to date and optimized. More people than ever are turning to company websites for information and purchasing. With the help of our very talented writing team, I can post blogs, send email newsletters, set up announcement bars at the top of your site with important information, add a calendar showing your rescheduled events, and set up contact forms for customers to easily get in touch with you.

Something else I do is create boxes with samples of your products to be sent to your customers. With so many rescheduled or cancelled trade shows, sending boxes through the mail is a great way to get product samples into customers’ and prospects’ hands. I can design eye-catching informational graphics to support your products by communicating your messaging in new ways. 

My name is Becky Quesnel and I’m a Customer Service Manager at Media Relations Agency. A big part of my job is putting together reports that detail and highlight all of the media coverage we arrange for you. You will be able to see a screenshot of each article, watch the TV segment or listen to the radio interview. The reports are easy to read and understand so they are useful for presenting to a group or just to use as an overview/recap of your media coverage. I get lots of calls from clients saying, “Hey, I’ve got a meeting coming up. Can you send me over an updated report?”

My name is Matt Hentges and I’m a Marketing Strategy Expert at Media Relations Agency. As your business is reopening, I can help you rebalance and reprioritize your promotional channels within your current marketing strategy. Where are your marketing dollars being spent?  With the abrupt economic shut down, now might be an excellent time to redirect a part of your marketing budget to the publicity promotional channel with an earned media campaign to help educate the masses. Earned media coverage will help you tell your unique business story as you build and strengthen your brand after this trying time. Another thing I can do is evaluate your current digital marketing footprint and recommend a program to help solidify your brand and image in your industry.

Lonny here. My two pieces of advice are 

  1. Increase your marketing efforts. The staff at my agency can help you do this effectively and efficiently. Marketing is about increasing sales. That relates to two sayings I’ve thought about often over the last 30 years running my agency: “The only mistake you can make is to run out of money because then they make you stop playing” and “High sales solve all problems.” 


  1. Read my best-selling marketing book, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing.” My book will give you a clear six-step marketing process to follow. You can buy it on Amazon for about $20. Or, because you are a valued prospect of our company, I’ll send it to you for free if you call and chat with an account executive at 612-697-5269 about one of the ideas we mentioned here. 

Written by Lonny Kocina

Lonny is a visionary who is passionate about marketing. He believes that to be a truly great agency, our professional advice and deliverables must be based on a solid marketing foundation. He has made it his mission to ensure that everyone on our team knows and understands the basic marketing concepts and the SAM 6 process. Lonny pioneered the concept of our nationally trademarked Pay Per Interview Publicity® business model which enables clients to purchase publicity by the story. “It’s a familiar concept. If you pay for a pizza, you get a pizza; if pay for a car, you get a car; and with us, if you pay for media coverage, you get media coverage,” he explains. “Clients come to us because they are tired of paying hourly retainers and getting little tangible return.” When the Internet was in its infancy, Lonny also had the business foresight to quickly reserve portal web addresses such as publicity, media relations and checkerboard, and advised clients to do the same. Nearly 30 years since launching this agency, Lonny’s still finds great joy thinking about, talking about and writing about product promotion. He thrives on expanding our ability to help clients tell their stories to the masses.

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