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As you get to know certain journalists, you learn what kind of stories they covet. A technology reporter may enjoy hearing about new Web software. A TV host who prefers to feature segments on socially conscious companies may like a heads-up of new entrants into this market. On your company's Web site, provide links to recent press releases or your client newsletter.

To begin the process of getting the word out, the foundation engaged a PR specialist, Jon Talbot, who began to look for opportunities to get the foundation's work in the public arena. Talbot started with a series of press releases announcing the foundation's activities in helping entrepreneurs. Then he began building resources for the media on the foundation Web site, including a media tip sheet and a list of experts that reporters could call on for quotes or expert opinions. The foundation began sending out story ideas to various news wires, which were picked up by other news organizations like Bottom Line Business.

Getting the word out is one way of building that relationship, building that trust. They decided to share their financial expertise in a newsletter: The Tightwad Gazette. Following a friend's suggestion, they put together a list from Gale's Directory of Media and sent out a release with newsletter copies. The result: two articles about the newsletter in Maine newspapers.

Wooing and Winning Business: The Foolproof Formula for Making Persuasive ...

One of the writers later sold the story to Parade magazine, which generated 25, responses. The media exposure has led to great success for the Dacyczyns. The Tightwad Gazette peaked with , subscribers.


They've written three books that sold a total of , copies — and they've made millions of dollars. Be specific. Instead of aiming for increased sales, say exactly how you'll increase sales — by attracting more visitors to your Web site, for example, or by cultivating a new market or dispelling myths about your product.

Target your main audience.

Wooing and Winning Business: The Foolproof Formula for Making Persuasive Business Presentations

To court a younger or more tech-savvy demographic, rely more on the Internet than on standard press releases. Example: In , an Internet campaign transformed a small, independent movie called "The Blair Witch Project" into a blockbuster. The A and B students are on the Internet," said one of the show's producers. Consider forming strategic alliances with other products, services, or companies.

Example: During Anne Rice's book tour to promote her novel Vampire Armand, she combined bookstore appearances with a blood drive. Stores were paired with hospitals, and people who had given blood were escorted to the head of the book-signing line to meet the author. Take advantage of a national trend.

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New figures, surveys, polls and statistics come out daily. Stay alert for connections you can make between your business and stories in the news. What is the latest fad? Which commodity is in short supply? A bookstore owner, for example, could quote statistics on illiteracy, and then notify the media that she plans to launch a "Learn to Read" campaign by offering a free story hour once a month. Develop a media-information Web page. Post your news releases. Say what you want your targeted clientele to know about your business. Provide a list of contacts for reporters to call or e-mail for more details.

Integrate your PR results into your other sales and marketing efforts. This will help offset the cost of producing PR materials. Try the following: Get reprints of articles and news blurbs and use them as supplemental literature for direct mail packages and as handouts at trade shows. Use positive quotes in your advertising to enhance credibility. Provide your sales force with copies of feature articles they can pass along to customers on sales calls.

Record your speeches and give pertinent audiotapes to clients, journalists and potential customers. Take names from contest entries and add them to your mailing list of potential customers. Follow up and be persistent. You must set aside some time on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for putting your program into action. Start with one press release this month and another in a few months.

Make follow-up calls about a week after the release has been sent and say: "I'm checking to see if there's anything else you need. Keep thinking of clever angles for more releases. A few more key points: Identify exactly what you want to achieve through PR. Answer these two questions to help sharpen the focus of your PR campaign: If your audience such as a reporter, potential client or conferees listening to your speech takes away just one point from your PR message, what would it be?

What do you want your audience to conclude from this point about your company? Follow this three-step process to help refine the purpose of your PR campaign: List all the themes or messages you want to plant in your audience's mind.

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Brainstorm with your management team. Ask them, "What do we want to tell people about our company? Why should others care?

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Review your list. Select the three most compelling themes or messages that you want to communicate through your PR campaign. Compose a sentence that summarizes the key points that will drive your PR efforts. Make sure they reinforce this message whenever they embark on PR-related activities, from writing press releases to designing your firm's Web site. Revisit your PR statement every quarter. Companies often need to change how they position themselves to attract the kind of positive press that helps accelerate growth.

Lucie, The examples are from financial service companies, but the advice is good for all. Kent and Maureen Taylor. Public Relations Quarterly Spring , Publicity Articles. Pertinent Information. Publicity Hound. Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab. Add to Watchlist. People who viewed this item also viewed. Picture Information. Have one to sell?

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