When you get publicity, you will be seen for as long as that show or publication is available. Although you may continue seeing benefits from a story for weeks or months after it appears (for example, as a magazine is passed from person to person) a particular story can literally be “here today, gone tomorrow.” To keep getting benefits from your publicity successes, follow these tips: [Read more…]
When you get publicity, how much is it worth in dollars and cents?
One metric commonly used by publicists and others to put a dollar value on publicity is to compare the space or time received to what you would pay to advertise in that media. For example, if you got a one-page write up in a magazine, and that magazine charges $25,000 for a full-page ad, then the value of the article is $25,000. Or if you got a 30-minute radio interview, you determine the value of the publicity by multiplying the radio station’s rate for a one-minute commercial times 30.
OK, that can work when you are a publicist trying to convince your boss or your client that you are worth the money they pay you. But it doesn’t really have any relationship to reality.
The real value of publicity is what results it gets for you. Sometimes that can be quantified in dollars: You make $5000 in sales that can be directly traced to a media appearance. Often, though, it is hard to track exactly what results came from publicity.
And some of the benefits of publicity are almost impossible to quantify. How many clients do you get, at least in part, because you regularly appear in media? The clients may not tell you that is why they chose you, they may not even fully realize it themselves, but it may have been a big factor in choosing your business over another. [Read more…]
Your publicity dreams may include being featured in major magazines such as Forbes, Fortune, Time, Inc., and others with circulation in the millions. Appearing in those publications can boost both your ego and your business. However!
A feature in Nailpro may not have the same cachet, but if your clients are nail salons, you should be there. Trade magazines and newsletters give you exposure where it counts—with your potential customers.
You probably already know many of the publications in your industry, but you can learn more about them and discover new ones online and in media directories at your library. Standard Rate and Data Service publishes information about magazines’ demographics, circulation, ad rates, etc. Writer’s Market, Ulrich’s Guide to Periodicals and other directories will provide lots of leads. There are also directories for newsletters, web sites and other media.
Once you’ve identified the publications you want to target, approach them in any or all of the following ways:
Send press releases with information of interest to their readers. Do you have a new product their readers need to know about? Do you know something that can help them be more successful? You may get a blurb or a story out of it.
Send information that establishes you as an expert in the industry, and let them know you are available for interview. They may run a profile of you, or contact you for a quote within an article.
Write articles and offer them for publication. You may get paid for the articles but, whether free or fee, you should insist on a byline that identifies you and your company. Some will include contact information, such as a phone number or web site URL.
Offer products for review in their publication. Books, tools, technology and other products are routinely reviewed in many trade publications.
Suggest a column. You may be able to land a monthly column by sending a few (3 – 6) sample columns to the editor, along with a description of your vision for the column.
Look for other opportunities to get your information published. Does the magazine run case studies? Maybe your company can be featured. Do they run contests or polls asking readers to comment on an issue or problem? Respond. Write letters to the editor. Consider the publication’s current features and see how you can fit in, and make suggestions for new ideas that will benefit readers.
Many business professionals think that PR is a mystical process and only expensive publicists with contacts in high places can get publicity for them. Wrong!
In fact, anyone can learn to do the things necessary to get publicity. One benefit of doing your own publicity is that you know your business better than anyone else. That means you can spot opportunities and communicate information about your business better than anyone else.
Another benefit is that you will save money. A publicist retainer can cost thousands of dollars a month. When you do your own PR, there is no guarantee that you will get any media attention. However, those expensive publicists don’t guarantee publicity, either.
With a little practice, you can learn to write an effective press release. Look for examples of press releases that worked, and use them as models to write your press releases. (You can find many successful press releases in Million Dollar Publicity, available for instant download.)
What can you do to get your press release (and your business) noticed by the media? Here are five tips that can start making you famous. [Read more…]
With pay per placement, clients only pay the PR firm when they get publicity. Fees are often based on a percentage of what the client would have spent for comparable advertising exposure. For example, the PR firm might charge 25% of what it would cost to run a full-page ad in a magazine if the client receives a one-page feature article.
Traditionally, PR firms have charged a monthly retainer. That means clients pay the monthly fee—usually in the thousands of dollars—every month, whether or not the PR firm has gotten any results. Often, there is a minimum commitment of six months or more.
Spending thousands of dollars a month is scary, especially when there is no guarantee that there will be any media coverage to show for it. When a firm comes along offering to charge only for the media placements they get, it can look awfully attractive. But is it really?
The obvious advantage of pay per placement is that if you do not get any publicity, you do not spend any money. There are some disadvantages, though, that may not seem obvious at first.
What you get for the monthly retainer is a firm actively working for you. That means that they are looking for opportunities to pitch you all the time. When the firm is being paid by the placement, they can not afford to be building campaigns and actively pitching you in any coordinated way. It is more likely that they will simply try to match clients to publicity opportunities they uncover. When you get publicity, it can be scattershot, rather than as part of a planned campaign implemented over time.
Here is one that often surprises PR clients: Pay per placement can be more expensive. Because of the way fees are set, getting one national feature can end up costing more than months of having a PR firm on retainer. Retainers are usually based on the hourly rates of the staff working on the client’s account. Pay per placement has no relationship to the time the PR firm spends working for you. They may learn about an opportunity for a national TV feature, pitch a few of their clients and have one used in the story. Total time: maybe a few hours. Total fees: probably in the thousands.
If you are conducting regular PR campaigns in-house, supplementing them with a pay per placement deal with an outside firm might be a good choice. That means that you regularly send out press releases, seek out publicity opportunities, and follow up with the media contacts you have cultivated, only using the PR firm for the occasional hit that you would not have found on your own. However, if you will only get publicity based on the efforts of a PR firm, a pay per placement arrangement may make you a one-hit wonder rather than a long-term success.