Starting A Publicity Program

Successful buisnesses know that media attention reaches consumers better than advertising can. A feature story on a start-up's new product or service, for example, can send the business into a new stage of growth. Publicity can help bring your business greater visiblity and success. Publicity lets the public know you exist and creates crediblity and good will. That makes customers and prospects more receptive to your products and services.

Fortunately, you don't need special expertise or training to create an effective publicity program. You need to define the message you want the publicity to convey and what you want the public to do as a result, for example, respect your business, give you money (if you are a non-profit), or respond better to your sales messages.

Publicity is a message that is purposefully planned, executed, and distributed, without payment, through selected media to further a businesses interests. Publicity tells the world who you are, what you do, and why it's important. It's news, which has greater credibility to most people than advertising. Best of all, it's free.

Although, publicity can be distributed through any type of media, print media offers the best opportunities for most businesses. Newspapers and magazines have a lot more space to fill than TV or radio, so they're more likely to cover you.

Here are five steps to creating successful campaign.

1. Know your buisness. Research and assemble information so you can answer the following questions, Why did you start your business? What are your businesses goals and objectives? What has your business accomplished? What is your business doing right now? What is the future for your business? Who are the board members, management, department heads, and key staff?

Much of this information should be put into your press releases, and the rest may be used when an editor or a reporter calls or e-mails you for more background.

2. Define your long-range publicity goals. Here are some examples of what your goals might be: To win recognition and awareness of a specific product, service, project, program, or policy. To establish, build, or improve your identity, reputation, and credibility. To enlist volunteers. To attract the public to a specific event. To give special recognition to board members, executives, or employees.

3. Write specific, measurable, and attainable objectives for each goal. Show what will be done, when, and by whom, as well as the desired end result. Measurable criteria for success can be defined by using phrases like "to increase..., to improve..., to develop."

4. Create a written plan. Get input from key people in your business to establish where you want to go and how to get there. Determine what assistance you need to carry out the plan, then establish a budget. You may want to form a publicity committee to help manage specific projects or serve as business representatives.

5. Develop a publicity schedule. Schedule and prioritize all known events or news items for the coming year. This allows you to consult editors in advance about assigning space or coverage for your important news stories.

If you have a business, you need to have a web site. Your web site makes it possible to reach wider target audiences more effectively and efficiently. The internet gives the public direct access to web sites, so anyone can get your information, not just the media. You can put a "Media Page" or "Press Room Page" on your website to provide content for the media.

All contents Copyright (c) 2004 Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. A former ad agency executive and marketing consultant, Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities and profits, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.

Joe can be reached at: [email protected]

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