by Lisa Saunders, winner of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations Gold Medallion
The steps for getting good publicity for yourself or business are different than taking out an advertisement. The pubic knows you paid for an ad, but if they see a positive article/interview by or about you, you will be seen as a trustworthy person. Positive press gives you credibility, make you an authority on a subject, and lets others know that you are willing to contribute your expertise to your community. (This photo of "Patty B's" was taken from my TV show, which I uploaded to YouTube. I invited this guest on because he could discuss the history of beer. He was not promoting beer, but rather his knowledge of it.)
You can hire a publicist to help you if you don’t have the time or media connections (click to see my flyer), or you can do the following yourself (click here for some of my notes given at my "How to Market Yourself" talk):
Get Featured in Articles
- Send press releases to the media, attaching your own photo (see excerpt of my article about press releases below)*
- Post news on your website and social media sites
- Call reporters
- Make yourself available as a quotable source: Help a Reporter Out: Free Publicity - Connecting Reporters
Suggested Newsworthy Events to Send in Press Release:
- You are giving a free lecture on “How to Get a Job”(or some other topic related to your expertise)
- You wrote a book (everyone should write one sharing their expertise)
- You wrote a new song
- Monitor awareness months and how your expertise relates. See: http://www.mhprofessional.com/pages/mhp/categories/chases/content/special_months.html
- Someone in your organization won an award (I got a lot of publicity when I won a beer stein hoisting event)
- Your elderly employee is earning first college degree
- Local school brings students to your business
- You’ve written a “How to Tile Your Bathroom” article
- You have developed a new product
- You donated goods or services to needy children
- It’s your company’s 30th anniversary
- Your secretary was promoted to executive secretary
- Great ideas from PRWEB: News Release Writing Tips: Choosing the Right News Angle
About Press Releases:
- Post them to your website—reporters will find them when they do an Internet search by topic
- Make your release stand out—without using hype
- Cleary state why the public should care
- Most important information first
- Write according to Associated Press (AP) style
- Send a photograph taken by you or your staff
Internet Marketing (social media)
- Youtube: good to have a video posted there if you would like speaking engagements or to sell products or services. After I filmed an author and uploaded it to my YouTube channel, I received this e-mail from her: "I sent the video to my Facebook page and a person saw it and ordered the book on line!" See my YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/anythingbutadog
- LinkedIn: good site for professionals
- Google + : good for everyone
- Facebook: good for non-profits, museums, colleges
- Twitter: good site for news organizations, non-profits
- Blogs: “Blogging” is good for anyone who can write
- Your Website: Business and Personal (people will look there first--keep it up to date)
How to Network
- Show an interest in others
- Read their business cards and comment
- Send customers or reporters their way
Where to Post Your Profile or Resume
This is especially important if you are a consultant
- Google +
- Organizations you belong to
- College Career Service Centers
- Your company website
- Your personal website
- Careerbuilder.com and monster.com
- Industry-related resume database sites
Live Near Mystic? Local ideas for spreading your news: Need Publicity for Your Event or Project?
Don’t Have Time/Desire to Market Yourself?
Ask a professional for help—many give free initial consultations
If you would like to discuss how my services may help you, contact me, Lisa Saunders, Marketing & Publicity Specialist, at LisaSaunders42@gmail.com
“Lisa helped me revitalize my marketing strategy with innovative ideas. She repackaged a series of individual lectures I was giving (plus secured me three more) into a news-worthy item: ‘Senior Acupuncturist Kicks Off Spring Lecture Series,’ which became headline news in our local paper. Everyone saw it." Kathleen T. Poole, M.S., L.Ac, Owner of Mystic River Acupuncture
E-mail Lisa received from her former employer upon relocating to Mystic, CT: “After reviewing the previous year’s media clipping on the College, what struck me is how many wonderful human interest stories there were, all as a result of your alertness and diligence. You really did a wonderful, wonderful job of unearthing stories and getting the media to pump out a steady stream of positive press. I know it was your ‘job,’ but you really embraced it with such enthusiasm--it really made a difference!” Tzipora Reitman, Director of Communications, State University of New York, Rockland Community College
* Excerpt of Article:
"Media Releases: When, Why and How to Send Them,"
by Lisa Saunders
One of the best ways to broadcast your news is to send the media a press release, otherwise known as a media or news release. Many authors assume their publishers will send out press releases and that when they give a talk, the hosting organization will send one out. They may, but usually it’s up to you to make sure the word gets out. So start gathering media contacts now!
After you’ve sent a press release to the media, then post it to your blog from where you can easily repost to your LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, and other online media accounts (ask your friends to do the same). There are even press release sites that let you post it there for free.
The first step is to learn how to properly format a release that will interest a reporter (who wants to quickly know, “How will this benefit my readers?”) and to minimize the reporter’s rewriting work (they need it written in Associated Press style, for example, write a.m., not AM or A.M., spell things out, such as state names five letters or less). If possible, you will want to attach a high resolution photograph to which you own the copyrights-- publications loves images they don’t have to search or pay for.
The most important and “why should my readers care” information needs to be on top of your release. Don’t make the reporter search for the date and time of an event. Make it easy on them and make it short! They don’t like to open attachments, so put your information within the body of the e-mail.
There are many reasons to send out a press release:
· Your topic is closely associated with an awareness month.
· You are giving a lecture.
· You won an award. I got a lot of news coverage when I sent a release about me winning a beer stein hoisting contest—I used that news to promote my book about my ancestor’s hanging, which was urged on by Samuel Adams, also the name of the brewing company hosting the contest. (A U.S. Senator saw my news coverage and sent me a letter of congrats!)
One of my personal press releases that gained a lot of media coverage:
Email Subject: Mom asks CT to Stop # 1 Birth Defects Virus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: April 1, 2014
P.O. Box 389, Mystic, CT 06355
Mom Asks CT to Become 2nd State in Nation to Stop #1 Birth Defects Virus
House Bill 5147 includes Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Public Education Program
Mystic, Conn.— Lisa Saunders of Mystic didn’t know how to prevent contracting CMV (cytomegalovirus), which causes more disabilities than Down syndrome, until it was too late for her daughter Elizabeth born with a severely damaged brain.
On March 25, Connecticut’s Public Health Committee voted in favor of House Bill 5147, which includes a cytomegalovirus (CMV) public education program. At present, Utah is the only state that requires their Public Health Department to provide CMV education.
Saunders, the parent representative of the Congenital CMV Foundation, is now asking legislators to make Connecticut the second state in the Union to prevent the leading viral cause of birth defects by passing HB 5147. Congenital CMV can be prevented if women of childbearing age learn the precautions to take, which includes refraining from kissing their toddlers around the mouth.
According to a study posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, “fewer than half (44%) of OB/GYNs surveyed reported counseling their patients about preventing CMV infection” despite the following statistics from the CDC:
· About 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV infection (approximately 30,000 in the U.S. each year).
· Congenital CMV causes one child to become disabled every hour.
Saunders has been trying to raise CMV awareness for years through her speaking engagements and books, including Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus), and most recently her travel memoir, Mystic Seafarer’s Trail, where she jokes she's trying to get thin and famous like Amelia Earhart (secretly married in Noank), so people will listen to her CMV prevention message.
For more information, visit Saunders at: www.authorlisasaunders.com.
Free Press Release Websites--They will post your news:
From Mashables (http://mashable.com/2007/10/19/press-releases/)
24-7PressRelease.com - Free release distribution with ad-support
1888PressRelease.com - Free distribution, paid services gives you better placement and permanent archiving.
ClickPress.com - Distributs to sites like Google News and Topix.net, Gold level will also get you to sites like LexisNexis.
EcommWire.com - Focuses on ecommerece and requires you include an image, 3 keywords and links.
Express-Press-Release.com - Free distribution company with offices in 12 states.
Free-Press-Release.com - Easy press release distribution for free, more features for paid accounts.
Free-Press-Release-Center.info - Distributes your release, offers a web page with one keyword link to your site. Pro upgrade will give you three links, permanent archiving and more.
I-Newswire.com - Allows for free distribution to sites and search engines, premium membership differs only slightly in adding in graphics.
NewswireToday.com - All the usual free distribution tools, premium service includes logo, product picture and more.
PR.com - Not only will they distribute your press releases, but you can also set up a full company profile.
PR9.net - Ad supported press distribution site.
PR-Inside.com - European-based free press release distribution site.
PRBuzz.com - Completely free distribution to search engines, news sites, and blogs.
PRCompass.com - Distribute your press release with a free or paid version, others can vote it up ala Digg style.
PRUrgent.com - Not only distributes your release, but attempts to teach you how to write one, and even offers downloadbale samples for you to work with.
Press-Base.com - Submit your release for free and get on their front page and the category of your choice.
PressAbout.com - A free press release service formatted as a blog.
PressMethod.com - Free press release distribution no matter what, but extra services based on the size of your contribution.
PRLeap.com - Free distribution to search engines, newswires, and RSS feeds. Fee based bumps get you better placement.
PRLog.org - Free distribution to Google News and other other search engines.
TheOpenPress.com - Gives free distribution for plain formatted releases, fees for HTML-coded releases.
Lisa Saunders, author and publicist, will discuss press releases in depth at the next SE CAPA (Southeast Chapter of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association) meeting on Monday, November 17, 6:30 p.m., at the Groton Inn and Suites in Groton.
For more information, contact Tom Santos, SE CAPA Chairperson, at 860-599-5067, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit: www.secapa.org