OK – you’ve gotten some publicity. Now what do you do?
First -- Clip and save all your press mentions. Tape your interviews. Get copies of TV appearances.
Second – Get motivated. Your goal is to take an article and derive everything you can from it. You are being given an opportunity to create a celebrity, but the snowball won’t get going unless you push it up and over the hill.
There are several ways to use your news coverage and ways to get more mileage out of your media clips and interviews.
In the short term – you use news coverage to motivate other media to provide you with additional coverage. You simply photocopy and then notify other media of the story by giving them a copy along with another news release.
You can ask them to run the same story, or ask them to do a follow on story, which explores more news angles. You can and should offer to help them tailor the new story to meet their special needs.
You can use your news coverage to qualify you as a source for more news and commentary on your subject.
In the long term, you can use the news you accumulate at one level to interest and trigger coverage at higher levels or at the national level.
Here are some of the best ideas and tactics you can use to increase the positive effects your hard earned publicity has on both future publicity and product sales.
SAVE ALL YOUR ARTICLES
Try to get three copies of the original. Whenever you get an article published make sure you save the masthead of the publication. You always need to save extra copies of the front page of the newspaper and magazine, with the date of the publication.
The first one is the uncut original. Keep the original article in the original publication form
The second one is used to make a one-page cutout of the whole article with the masthead.
Do the same to the third copy, but then go and get it laminated to protect it. Use this for full page photocopies. It will last a long time once it is protected.
Create three save file folders for all the articles you get published.
Place the originals in one file folder.
Place the cutouts in a second file folder.
Place the laminated copies in a third file folder.
Use the laminated one for photocopying. Keep them in a safe place. You now have them available to photocopy at will.
Start a clip book. Use a file folder, or a loose-leaf binder.
The next thing to do is to scan the articles and cut and paste them so they can be transmitted electronically. Scan them and save them as jpeg’s, gif’s, tiff’s bmp’s and most importantly as pdf files.
Then you can use them in email and on your web pages. Encourage people to share them at will. Post notes or announcements containing the links to mailing lists, Ezines, newsletters, online groups and discussion boards.
GET THE ONLINE VERSIONS
If your article is published online, go immediately to the web site of the publication. Go directly to the page where your article is located. Bookmark the site. Print the original.
Some online media have a “Printer friendly version” switch. If they do, click on it, and print this page.
Create a one-page stand-alone version of your article. You may need to find and cut and paste the masthead of the publication or media, and the text of your article onto a clean word processing file, to avoid capturing advertising, and to maximize spacing and placement. The goal is to create an attractive and readable one pager. You may need to adjust the font size and margins, and clean up the line spacing to do this.
This next step is crucial. Immediately save the web site html to your computer. Many online articles will disappear and be archived within days or weeks of publication. You can link to them but the links will go bad when this happens. However if you save the html to your computer, you can upload it to your web site and keep the link fresh, as long as you create a new link. You may have to ask the publication for permission to do this.
You final step is to create a list of prior coverage with links on your web sites so people can click and go to the actual articles.
[Editor's note: If you are reprinting an article on your website, ask permission first. Otherwise, you're at legal risk for infringing copyright. If permission is denied, you can usually still quote brief excerpts under the "fair use" rule. Amazon considers 20 words safe, but in very short material, even that ma be too much and you may be better off just listing the publication as having quoted you. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.]
CREATE A MONTAGE
Array cutouts of your articles. You photocopy using reduction and enlargement settings to get the right number of articles arrayed pleasantly on a page. You can pack six to as many as ten articles with mastheads on a page. You can use 8 ˝ inch by 11 inch, or 8 ˝ inch by 14 inch, or even 11 by 17 inch, depending on the size and number of the articles.
At trade shows, one of the most interesting posters you can provide for attendees if a large blow up of your best articles in an attractive montage. Blow them up to large size in color so that people are drawn to look at them.
Use these montages with your marketing materials and press kits. They make for a credibility building presentation and pack a lot in a small space.
Place montages in your press kits and on your office and lobby walls in high visibility locations. Use them where clients and prospects can see them.
Use your prior news coverage to create special marketing materials and programs. Cull out the best media coverage for special target markets.
Remember to showcase your prior media coverage to the right audience at the right time.
Wrap your logo and branding materials around the presentation to create your own personal effect.
USE PRIOR NEWS COVERAGE CAREFULLY
Prior news coverage is a double-edged sword. You can use it to inspire and motivate other media to cover you and that you are newsworthy. It qualifies you as media-experienced with the media.
However, it reveals your topic may no longer be fresh news. It clearly identifies that the word is out and that exclusive rights to the story no longer exist.
This is crucial in certain media markets.
You can’t pitch to the competitors of a media that you were just in. They know what their competitors are doing and to them it’s worse than old news. So you have to refrain from sharing it when it happens.
*** You can leverage upward and outward.
You can go from print to radio and TV and from radio and TV to print.
You take your news release and the article in your local paper and send both to the bigger media in the area or nation. This is the way to go from national or regional to local.
*** Go from Local to National
If you start first with a local article, you can send the copies to regional and national media.
*** Go from National to Local.
If you acquired national coverage, then by all means let the locals know, I was just on CNN! Immediately prepare a letter and/or a news release proposing a story, and a copy of your news coverage.
Make a special effort to get local hometown and regional coverage. The closer the coverage is to your buying audience, the more value it has to you.
*** Change the news angle.
To get media interested in doing a story you may have to change the news angle. Add new wrinkles, but base them on the hot buttons revealed in the prior news coverage. If a certain set of issues or statements turned people on, beef them up and use them more.
Localize it – identify and flesh out the local ties your story has to the area the media covers. Localizing can be for a geographic area (i.e., a city, state, or region) or for a certain subject area.
*** Change the focus – shift from one perspective to another.
Submit it to a different editor or department – tailor the story or facts or perspective to address the special focus or concerns of a different group of people.
Always try to focus on the most compelling human-interest angle. People want to know more about how things affect other people than they want to know about products and statistics.
*** Target your key opinion makers.
Be sure to identify your top 25 media. These are the most influential media you can identify.
Make sure you contact them and update them frequently with your accomplishments. Make sure you include your local wire services (Associated Press) and the local news bureaus of your key media (i.e., NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Business Week, etc), and your key nationally syndicated columnists.
Write them individually or collectively but do so on a regular basis (monthly or quarterly, and as soon as anything important happens to you).
USE YOUR PUBLICITY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
If you want to drive additional publicity, immediate media outreach is the key. You must be ready to create a new news release, new letter, and place the news in front of your key target media fast.
Dramatize it. The media love a good story. With good planning and good execution, you can sustain public interest in a good story for several months. You goal is to replicate the feelings and expand the energy.
Take your articles and make plenty of duplicates.
Re-read them and identify the hot buttons. Glean from the articles and public response the high interest facts and statements, the high energy and excitement, the key issues that get people going.
Use them to create opportunities to bring your promotions to life, especially at a possible point of sale.
Give the copies of your articles to:
· All your employees.
· All your existing clients and customers.
· All your prospects as they walk in the door, or hand them a photocopy to read as they go out the door.
· All your key dealers, wholesales, retailers, partners, and distributors.
· Community leaders and organizations, so they know what you are up to and capable of doing.
· Celebrities and VIP’s with whom you are working or asking for support.
· All your media so they know you are newsworthy.
Use them to bolster your credibility and to substantiate your value for both more publicity.
Reprints can be valuable sales tools. Use them frequently.
Every time an article comes out, repeat your outreach. Use the opportunity to create a repeat exposure experience for everyone you care about.
Remember that you must be aware that fresh news coverage is a double-edged sword. When you divulge other media coverage, there is a risk that the media will no longer view your news as new, and hence worthy of coverage. Don’t be disappointed or taken by surprise. Expect it. Recognize that you will get this response form certain types of media. Just think ahead and be prepared. Counter the resistance immediately by confidently and assertively offering up a fresh news angle.
TIME YOUR OUTREACH RIGHT
The timeline to hit media with fresh news coverage is quite short. You must strike while the fire is hot. But you must also stay aware of the lead times needed for most media.
Daily newspapers, radio and TV, news services and syndicates – one to three days.
Weekly newspapers – two to three weeks.
Magazines – three to four months.
Don’t let your publicity sit there. Make it work for you. Be aggressive about sharing it.
Make sure that when media see your prior coverage, it is immediately followed by a request for more news coverage with a news release. Be ready to follow up with a press kit containing a complete detailed proposal. You must help the media do their job.
Make sure that when prospects see your article, it is closely followed by an interactive request for a sale.
Paul J. Krupin is the author of the book “Trash Proof News Releases” and creator of Direct Contact PR, a personal publicity service that transmits expertly written news releases with the right message to the right media. His website http://www.DirectContactPR.com/ is packed with articles and a comprehensive media jump station. The 244 page first edition of Trash Proof News Releases is available as a free pdf file download or via email upon request. Email him directly at Paul@DirectContactPR.com 800-457-8746 509-545-2707
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