Top Five Publicity Myths

Most people consider getting publicity the most important part of public relations. It's also very mysterious to many people. Here are my top five publicity myths, to help make publicity better understood.

1. Who you (or your publicist) knows at the media is more important than the story idea. Sure, it's easier to get a reporter or writer that knows you to listen to your pitch. But unless the pitch is good, it doesn't matter if your contacts are your best friends -- they won't risk their jobs on your bad idea.

2. The amount of time spent on an interview determines how much publicity you will receive. I know people who have been interviewed for an hour and a half, and have only received a line in a publication (or none at all). I also know people who were interviewed for 20 minutes who received a half-page profile. It all depends on the story the writer is putting together, who else they are interviewing, and editorial decisions.

3. You have control over the information presented. One of the differences between advertising and publicity is that you pay for advertising and publicity is "free." Another difference is that by paying for advertising, you control the message. The publicity you receive may contain an inaccurate quote, or may present your information in a different way than you had intended. These are possibilities, and should be taken in stride.

4. A publicist can guarantee media coverage. Unless it is paid for, there is no guarantee of coverage. Even something that has a target broadcast or publication date can be moved if a hot story overshadows yours.

5. The media will jump on a great idea and work on the story immediately. What may seem like the greatest news in the world to you (and might actually be) is just one of many "hot" pitches that the media receive. Unless it is a major event (usually a grim one), the media takes their time determining their interest in a story. That's why constant follow-up is so necessary for all pitches.

Copyright 2005 Margie Fisher All Rights Reserved

Margie Fisher is President of Margie Fisher Public Relations. She is also the author of the Do-It-Yourself Public Relations Kit?. To sign up for her free biweekly PRactical P.R. newsletter, and to see more free articles, visit http://www.margiefisher.com

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