There is an old proverb that goes Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime. The same can be said about publicity. If you do publicity once, you’ll get business for only a day. However, if you do publicity with frequency and repetition, you’ll build a business that will feed you for a lifetime.
There are several other ways fishing is similar to publicity. Here are a few:
Knowing What You’re Fishing For/Knowing Who Your Target Market Is
First, you have to decide what you’re fishing for, then you go where they are. If you’re fishing for trout, then you would go to a lake. If you’re fishing for salmon, then you head to a river. And, if you’re fishing for mahi-mahi, then you would gas up the boat for some deep sea fishing. The same is true for your target market.
Once you decide who your target market is, you go where they are. If you want name recognition in front of business decision makers, then you would go to trade, industry, or business association publications. If you want the attention of single parents, then you would go to women’s magazines or mommy blogs.
Every market has magazines and blogs they read regularly. Know who your target market is and where they’re located, and you’ll get a bite every time.
Having the Right Lures, Position Your Expertise
In a lake you would want a bobber and lures to attract the fish’s attention. In a river or stream you might want to use a fly-fishing pole. On the ocean, of course you’d want to be fully strapped in with a strong line and reel. The same is true to positioning your expertise in a way the reader wants to see it.
You may think that since Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and BusinessWeek are all business publications you can send the same press release to all of them. Consider their core reader: Entrepreneur says who they are in the title; Fast Company attracts the reader who wants new, now, next; and BusinessWeek is the old steady blue-chip business person. So, if you tailor your press release to the reader of the publication you want to get into, then you’ll have them jumping out of the water for you.
Using the Right Bait on Your Hook, Using the Right Content in Your Hook
Whether you use a worm, eggs, or chum, depends on the fish you want to catch. The same is true for the content you use to hook the media’s attention. If you don’t get the media’s attention, then your target market will never see your content, so you have to present your content in the right way.
So many people make the mistake of presenting themselves as the story. What the media cares about is what you can do for their reader; who you are and why they should listen to you comes second.
Press releases should not be advertorial or self-promotional; they should be educational, informational, and content-driven. Lead with your unique stance or controversial opinion. Offer the media additional information on a story they’re already running, and they’ll be itching to take the bait.
Telling a Fish Story, Using Your Publicity
Every fisher has a whopper of a story about the one that got away, but just as many have trophies mounted on their walls to prove their skills. The same is true with your publicity; you’ve got to tell a good tale about it, otherwise you might as well cut bait and walk away.
• Start an “in the media” page on your website. Nothing impresses a potential client more than knowing the media considers you the go-to source for information on your expertise.
• Even if your business is just in the local market, don’t shy away from national press. Showing a local realtor you’ve been in a national real estate magazine will be just as impressive as being in the local newspaper.
• Use the publicity you receive in your social media as well. If you’re a B2B business you would want to focus on LinkedIn, or if you’re B2C you could use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or others.
If you’re hoping to build business name recognition, increase market awareness, or boost sales, you first need to drop your line into the water. Wading in to the mainstream media doesn’t have to be a scary situation. Knowing who you want to hook, and having the right bait in your tackle box, will land you publicity without much of a struggle.
Regardless if you’re standing on the banks, using a row boat, or in a trawler, it’s about positioning your content in front of your target market in a format they want to hear — then just sit back and reel them in. You’ll have a net full of media placements to use in your marketing for a lifetime.
About the Author: Russell Trahan is the Owner and President of PR/PR Public Relations and author of Sell Yourself Without Saying a Word. For more information, please visit www.prpr.net.