The traditional way to get publicity was to send a press release to the media. Today, though, you can find many other opportunities to make yourself famous by going beyond the press release.
Here are some ideas that can help you get attention through new media, or by going around the media and directly to customers.
Go to the bloggers. If you can attract the interest of one or two prominent bloggers, your story can quickly spread. Get to know who the top bloggers are in your industry, and approach them when you have news.
You can find bloggers by searching for your topic or industry name along with “blog.” Try searching at http://www.Techorati.com/ and http://blogsearch.Google.com/. Get familiar with the top blogs by reading them regularly. Offer appropriate and useful comments to posts, and the bloggers will become aware of you. That is definitely a plus when you approach them with a story.
Find the reporters who want to find you. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which reporters were working on stories about your topic? You could exponentially increase your chances of getting coverage for your story. Two paid services, http://www.prnewswire.com/profnet/ and http://www.PRLeads.com/, will let you know what stories reporters are working on and how to contact them. You can then target your pitch to the specific angle the reporter is working.
A free option is Help A Reporter Out. Peter Shankman sends three emails each business day, each containing up to 30 queries from journalists looking for stories. You can sign up at http://www.HelpAReporter.com/.
Can you digg it? Sites such as http://www.digg.com/ allow users to submit stories. Other users then vote and popular stories are elevated to the front page of the sites. Making the front page of digg can bring tens of thousands of people to your web site in a single day. To give this a try, you need to have a great story, write a catchy headline, post it and see what happens. You can encourage your friends and fans to vote for your story to get it moving, but if it isn’t good, the regulars will vote it down quickly.
There are other more specialized sites, too. Although you may not get tens of thousands of visitors from hitting the front page of those sites, it is easier to make it there and the traffic you get will be targeted. To find the sites in your niche, start by doing a search for your keyword (or a good, descriptive term for you niche) and “social bookmarking.”
Hook into breaking news. When you have a unique angle on a hot story, get in front of the media. And do it quickly, before someone else does. Do you have a local angle on a national or international story? Call local media and let them know. Ask for the assignment desk and tell them your take on the breaking story.
Are you ready for your close up? You may have noticed that online video is extremely popular. Make clever and entertaining videos and you can capture the viral magic of videos. To show off their powerful blender, the Blendtec folks created a series of Will it Blend? videos where they throw everything from a full Thanksgiving dinner to a video camera to a hockey puck into their blender and press start. You can view the videos at http://www.WillItBlend.com/.
Syndicate your articles. Publishing articles on your web site is a great way to demonstrate your expertise. You can get even more attention for your articles (and yourself) by using an article distribution service. One inexpensive service is http://www.iSnare.com/. Or you can submit your articles for free to directories such as http://www.EzineArticles.com/.
Go beyond the press release and get the attention of thousands–or millions–of new customers.
Get free publicity.