Dispel Those Publicity Myths:
Get Your Business the Attention it Deserves
By Pam Lontos
business needs a cost-effective way to keep their name, their
products, or their services in front of their prospects and
customers. For many business owners, publicity is the key to such
recognition and awareness. When done correctly, publicity develops
your name recognition, gives your business instant credibility, and
ultimately leads to increased sales. And best of all, publicity is
Publicity can come from anywhere and in many different forms. It can
be as simple as having a letter published in the editorial column of
your local newspaper, or as dynamic as having a front-page article
with your company’s name splashed across the headlines.
Unfortunately, because of the many myths that shroud the whole
concept of publicity, many business owners fail to seek it out.
you can get your business the publicity it deserves, you need to
separate the PR facts from the media fiction. Below are the most
common publicity myths and the truths behind them.
#1 – I need to own a “big” business to get the media’s attention:
While it’s true that big business names are common in magazine
and trade journal articles, the fact is that big business makes up
only a small percentage of the American economy. Most readers know
the big business names, but they often can’t identify with them or
their challenges. That’s why many magazines and trade journals are
eager to hear the opinions and perspectives from owners of small and
medium-sized businesses. So whether you’re a solo entrepreneur, a
franchise operator, or a family business owner, find out what the
reporters want and then enthusiastically give your slant on the
#2 – My business will be a household name from that one big hit:
Getting mentioned in or interviewed by a major national publication
with a circulation of over one million readers is certainly
impressive. But will such a stroke of luck make your business a
household name? Not likely. To become a household name, you need to
develop “top of mind awareness.” What is top of mind awareness? It’s
when people think of you first to fulfill their product or service
needs. It’s when publications of all sizes quote you and publish
your articles. It’s when customers and prospects say, “I’ve seen
your company everywhere.” Most important, it’s when people purchase
your products or services because they know your company’s name and
they perceive you as the marketplace leader. The only way to get top
of mind awareness (to become a household name) is through constant
exposure in a variety of publications.
#3 – I need to use big words to impress the interviewer: In most
cases, the person interviewing you, as well as the publication’s
readers, are not as intimate with your industry as you are.
Therefore, they need the information you give them to be
understandable and at a layperson’s comprehension level. The best
approach is to avoid speaking with industry jargon or using
techno-terms. Instead, speak as if you were explaining something for
the first time. The simpler you can make your information, the
better your chances of being quoted as the expert source.
#4 – I need a unique theory or insight: While you don’t want to
rehash old news, there’s no need to rack your brain for a totally
new theory or perspective. The best approach is to present your
findings, opinions, or topic of expertise in a new light – one that
may be close to someone else’s, but that catches the reporter or
editor’s interest. Perhaps you have information that can refute a
recent claim or that shows how a current business challenge is
affecting the publication’s target readership. When you simply put a
new spin on a current theory or insight that interests the
publication’s readers, reporters will want to present your findings.
#5 – I can’t get my business into that publication: It’s common
for small and medium-sized business owners to feel intimidated by
the big name publications. They envision high-powered magazine
editors schmoozing with big company CEOs and lining up interviews
with well-known figureheads for the next six months. In reality,
editors scramble daily to find people to interview who have
knowledge on the latest trends and topics. Realize too that editors
must find new and exciting people to interview either weekly or
monthly, so the more knowledgeable people they can add to their
database, the better. Make yourself stand out as a reliable
information source and you will get the media’s attention.
#6 – Small publications don’t matter: Small publications are
just as important as the big ones. Why? Because you never know who
reads them. You may think that a magazine with only a 10,000-15,000
circulation could never get your business the kind of publicity you
want, but what if half of those readers were your target customers?
Even better, what if your interview or article in a small
publication prompted an editor from a large publication to call you?
So target small publications as well as the large ones. As long as
your information is interesting and accurate, you will gain more
attention and get the publicity you need.
publicity is the best way to promote your business. And when you
know the facts of the PR business, you can attain the publicity you
need easily and then use it to your best advantage. With a constant
stream of good publicity, your business is destined to grow.
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