Creating the product, making the film, publishing the book, opening the store, or (fill in the blank) is just one step in the process. Think of it as one chapter and one chapter does not a book make. Follow these steps and develop a workable effective marketing gameplan. Now you can launch your business, land customers, make money – and actually sleep at night.
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Remember that the media works on their own timetable. Although you often have time to plan and arrange your schedule to do an interview, that’s not always going to be the case. There will be times that a producer or editor schedules an interview at a time that is inconvenient, or reschedules it at the last minute, forcing you to scramble and change your plans. My advice – do it! Always keep your objective in mind. Your objective is to build your business, to create success through media exposure.
Much of the media is going through tough financial times. The danger here, particularly when it comes to hard news and investigative reporting, is if real news continues to lose ground to sensationalism and entertainment. Offering entertainment 24/7 will result in a numbed and uninformed public. Americans don’t want to be uninformed, but they don’t know what they don’t know. If due to economic constraints the media fails to uncover stories of corruption both in government and the private sector, we all lose in a very big way.
The Internet has impacted all of the arts, but no sector has been hit quite as hard as the music industry. The industry is in such a free fall that advertising avenues are filling the shoes that music labels once did. It has become more of a do- it-yourself world. Those artists who embrace change will still find ways to succeed, make an impact and build lasting careers.
We ended up in the worst recession since the Great Depression because we all collectively listened to the “experts.” Can we really do much worse than that on our own? I doubt it. So why not try a different approach? Try listening to your intuition when it comes to making business choices. Some of the most successful businesses have been built by those who listened to their gut and took the road less traveled.
Most experts will suggest that you stick with the traditional press release form and put your name, address, and contact information on the top. Don’t. The first few lines of your release may be all that gets read. Don’t sacrifice that all-important space to mundane information. Come up with an interesting headline that is centered on the page, and immediately start with your story. Keep the information on how to contact you at the bottom of the page. If your story interests them, believe me, they’ll call, no matter where you put your number.
Although I am suggesting that you break some of the common press release rules, don’t try to be novel or unconventional simply for the sake of being different. The changes I suggest are based on practical observations. Too often we stick to a form simply because that’s the way it’s been done before. If there is a practical, advantageous reason to do something differently, do it.
On the other hand, don’t be different simply to be different. In other words, don’t use oversized paper, or use unconventional script, or write cryptic or convoluted sentences just to try to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Chances are, it will only work against you. You want to catch the media’s eye, but you don’t want to shock or startle. Keep the release clean and easy-to-read, and remember, no amount of inventiveness will make up for the lack of a good hook or story.
At the bottom of the page, make sure to let the media know who you are and how they can get in contact with you; have your phone number and contact person clearly listed.
Stand back and look at your release with an objective eye. If you knew nothing about your business or product, and you saw your release, would it make you want to learn more about the topic? Would it pique your interest? If not, you’re headed in the wrong direction. Bounce it off other people, get feedback. Don’t send it out until it says exactly what you want it to say, in the way you want to say it. And never, ever, ever let it be longer than one page.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008
Although I am suggesting that you break some of the common press release rules, don’t try to be novel or unconventional simply for the sake of being different.
People tend to trust an expert who has been featured in the media more than one they see in an ad or a commercial. In a nutshell it’s the ability to offer that credibility to give the reader or viewer that sense of trust that makes PR the most effective form of marketing and branding available.
McGraw Hill’s study found that those businesses that boosted their public relations, marketing and advertising during a recession grew 275% over the 5 years proceeding. However, those businesses that cut back, if they were still in business, only grew 19%. That’s pretty striking. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the worst business decision you can make, particularly in tough times, is to cut back your marketing efforts.
McGraw Hill did a study and found those businesses that boosted their public relations, marketing and advertising during a recession grew 275% over the 5 years proceeding.