Publicity is the secret weapon in your marketing arsenal. Getting media coverage of your products or services is essentially high-profile advertising at zero cost.
But it’s more than that really. Getting PR is the ultimate social proof. You essentially gain a valuable third-party endorsement, a “super-testimonial” to knock down any risk in the minds of your prospects using the media’s credibility.
And that’s just the start. Think about it. Would you even know about the existence of Dr. Phil or Rachael Ray, if Oprah hadn’t mentioned and promoted them on her show? There are minor celebrities who have built entire careers using a single appearance on a major program.
Fortunately for you, many of your competitors don’t have access to this weapon. And can I share a dirty little secret? Neither do most so-called professional PR firms. But in a few minutes, you’ll have this weapon ready for your next marketing blitz.
Ready for your money-making publicity secrets? Let’s get started:
1) Think like a Direct Marketer. Having a direct response mentality will put you in a better spot than 99% of professional PR people. This means…getting into the heads of your prospects (reporters, radio hosts, media people, etc.)…writing press releases with clear calls to action using the AIDA formula…and solving the media person’s biggest problems (finding great sources to interview for content) versus yapping about what you want.
2) Start by deciding what ultimate result you want to achieve — sales, new customers, lead generation, improved credibility, third-party social proof, etc. Then figure out what results you need from the media to accomplish this. Which media reaches your ideal prospects? Is your story limited by geography, or are you selling something available nation-wide? What key messages do you want the media stories to convey? Working through this, start thinking of what kind of media is the best platform for your message (broadcast, web or print). For example, a newspaper will likely not run a story about a book launch (unless it’s a local paper covering a local author) but radio programs are eager to interview authors about new books.
3) Build your own list of media targets. Getting the contact info for media people is easy. You can go to the publication’s website to easily find a reporter’s email address. The real art is figuring out which media outlets you want to target, and which person at the outlet to send the press release. It might take a few hours of your time to look up each outlet and person, but it’s worth it. Trust me; it’s something that most PR services and PR firms don’t do, giving you another edge. As with direct mail, having your own lists always beats “spamming” a compiled list you bought off someone.
4) Write a killer press release. This means writing your press release following the famous direct response / sales letter models (AIDA, etc.). Test headlines to see which get the most response. Grab people by the throat with your lead. Weave in a story to keep interest. Position yourself as an expert with a sound-bite quality quote. Toss out some blind bullets to spark curiosity. And most importantly, tell the report what you want them to do, even if as simple as calling or emailing you for more information. If you need more information on how to write a killer release, Paul Hartunian and Ben Settle have excellent products to help write one.
5) Mail your press release. Yes, send it using old-fashioned postal mail. Do NOT send it email. Email in general is becoming less effective, and you don’t want your release stuck in someone’s spam-filter. If you do send us the mail, I recommend the “Gary Halbert A-Pile” strategy of mailing the release in a plain #10 envelope. Better yet, send it with Priority Mail. It will cost a bit, but your message will be opened and read, I guarantee it.
6) Be ready to respond! If you have a good list, a killer press release, and your message is getting through…the media is going to come looking for an interview. And you need to be ready to jump on these interview opportunities, fast. Don’t wait a minute to call a reporter back. Immediately answer any questions or requests via email. Your job is only half-over, my friend. You still need to “close the sale” by getting interviewed. Because in most cases, the media won’t run with your story until after they have a chance to talk to you in person. No interview, no story. So make yourself available to talk!
7) Make sure your “sales funnel” is working correctly before your PR campaign. Let’s flash forward. Your publicity campaign is rocking out. The media is calling you like crazy. You are getting interviewed by TV, radio, major newspapers. You are getting a ton of traffic to your website. You are getting orders. But wait? Your shopping cart is busted? Your call center isn’t ready for a deluge of orders? Your website is crashing? OK, don’t panic. Just remember to test out your sales process BEFORE you start your PR campaign, and have a plan in place for worst-case scenarios.
And here’s a bonus secret, just for authors and information product marketers…
8 ) Shoot for interviews on radio programs. Yes, radio. It’s the perfect platform for authors and information marketers. Why? The biggest reason is radio hosts are very open to “plugs” after interviewing you, giving you a chance to directly pitch your book or product to the audience. Secondly, radio shows constantly need guests and most people are afraid to go live on the air. So if you can handle your nerves during a live broadcast, and do your best to come off looking like an expert, radio is a “no-brainer” to get publicity for your book or product.
So there you have it. Utilize these secrets during your next publicity campaign, and I know you’ll see results.
PS: For a limited time, I’m offering my subscribers a special rate for PR services — $100/hour for PR consulting, and $400 for a press release. Note this offer can be rescinded at any time, so if you are interested, contact me right away.