PR Power, Part VI:
A Little Bit And You’ll Get A Lot
What would it mean to your business if you earned the reputation as the
source for the latest insights in your industry? How significant would it
be to your sales if your company got more calls from prospects ready to
buy and seeking information from "leading experts," as
recommended by the industry press? These questions have been almost
thematic in our Profiting With PR series. In this, our last
installment, you might find an answer.
Many of my clients have sought this type of positioning. I strongly
recommend the strategic use of public relations (PR) to attain it, mainly
through continual exposure via media release campaigns. Yet, they've been
surprised when they get little or no response to their self-serving and
'news-less' media releases. This leads them to ask, "How can we
generate interest from the media so we get regular coverage? The answer is
to give people (a.k.a. readers) information of value.
It's been said that, "The way to get what you want is to help
others get what they want." Haven't you found this to be true? In the
tech world, some companies offer 'white papers' on various technical
advances, i.e. wireless standards, or business theories, like customer
relationship management (CRM).
Now, rather than spend thousands of dollars or more on white papers or
a doctoral-level thesis, you might try 'Tips, Trends or Surveys.' These
wonderful tools offer well-received snippets of information that are
relatively cheaper and easier to produce.
To find out how to utilize this powerful PR tactic, I got the inside
track from Raleigh Pinskey, CEO of The Raleigh Group. She is a positioning
consultant, personal and business coach, and internationally known speaker
and author. Raleigh offered tips from a chapter on this subject in her
book, "101 Ways to Promote Yourself." (Get it? She walks her
talk.) You can contact her and get the book at www.promoteyourself.com.
A Little T, T & S
The media like Tips, Trends and Surveys. Why? Raleigh offers that,
"Editors or segment producers don't have time to rummage through
pages and pages just to find what you want to tell them." She adds
that, "The information is useful, geared to teach, to impart skills
and attitudes rather fluff and hype. It's also presented in a brief, very
to-the-point style, allowing for easy absorption and quick
Tips are "practical information presented in as concise a way as
possible. They're helpful, informative, and useful, especially if they're
short, sweet and to the point. For example, 'Three Simple Steps to
Eliminating Junk Mail in Your Inbox' or 'Five Things You Need to Know When
Buying a Unified Messaging System."
Trends are your opinion on "where the future is going to be, where
the past has been and what is happening now," whether it's in
business or a specific technology. Trends map the attitude of your market,
clients and prospects, and you can offer data to turn those on the fence
into buyers. Raleigh states that the best way to cash in on trends is,
"by spotting an emerging trend or fitting into an existing one. The
media love anything that is coming, especially if they can get their hands
on it before anyone else does." Make your technology part of what's
hot -- not, what's not.
Surveys are presentations of data collected from your database or other
lists. You present statistics around questions you ask about things
specific to your products or services or even non-related almost whimsical
topics. Prospects like to know what the competition is doing or thinking.
Coincidentally, this is a great way to pick up on trends and become a
"trend spotter," which increases your credibility.
Raleigh's Recipe for Success
To increase your chances of media attention, the key is to have the proper
intent. You need to be "selfless, not selfish." Present
information that is not self-serving or self-emulating but rather
educates, contributes or elevates an attitude or skill. This type of
information makes prospects feel they should take some action for
themselves to improve their situation or address a problem rather than
just agreeing or disagreeing with your opinion.
Raleigh's guidelines for success from your tips, trends or surveys are
simple and brief. Measure yours against these points:
- The information presented should be interesting, newsworthy, timely,
relevant, useful, informative and educational;
- It should catch the eye, the ear, the brain and the funny bone;
- It should make you want to say, ""Wow, I didn't know
- It should be information people care about, need to know, want to
know or should know.
By making your 'bytes' informative yet catchy, light and non-invasive,
you'll find the media and their audience far more receptive than they are
to your advertising and direct marketing. This primes them for gradual
presentation of sales-oriented information, once they have recognized a
pain or need among your 'to-do' lists or coming trends.
Use tips, trends and surveys as part of your PR strategy and you'll
find yourself and your business getting more attention and placement in
various media. You'll gain additional leverage with the same information
by placing it as content on your Web site and using it as the focus for a
direct mailing program. Remember, this is another piece to add to your
overall Strategic PR Plan. Combine all of the strategies, tactics and
approaches that have been presented in this six-part series and
you'll be PROFITING from PR!
Martin Wales, The Customer Catcher™, helps technology companies
generate easy, profitable sales by "Skipping the Selling and Getting
to the Sales™." Learn more from the audiotape series, Profit
from PR Power: How to Successfully Sell Any Technology Using Affordable,
Effective & Powerful Media Promotion. Hear PR pros reveal their
step-by-step systems for building brand awareness, using affordable
strategies and tactics. E-mail us today at email@example.com
with "PR Power" in the subject line for your special
TMC-subscriber, limited-time offer.