The beauty of digital marketing and new media is that it gives an easy entry into the world of business. The downside is that almost anyone can look like a superstar online. It makes it more of a challenge to separate out the appearance of awesome with businesses that are actually awesome to work with.
Traditional media on the other hand is still selective and because you have to be selected to participate it feels exclusive. When you see a company being praised in the media, as a consumer, you take notice. “As seen in” has become the stamp of approval you need to build consumer confidence.
And while radio, TV and print are still selective, they are more accessible than you think! You can hire the PR firm and pay the big bucks to get positioned in the right places. Or you can save your PR bucks and get noticed for free by following this formula.
Free PR functions like a ladder. You start at the bottom rung, and use the footing from that level to propel you up to the next level. This will give you the ability maximize your PR dollars and pay for the spots that you really want, while gaining the foundation that secures you the big spots for free. I like free!
Level 1- Online PR: New media, blogs, podcasts, internet radio, digital magazines, online TV shows, and youtube channels are powerful for disseminating information. They have loyal followings. They are trusted, and can have large audiences. Not all new media is the same. To get featured in a local digital magazine may be easier than making it into the Huffington Post. So when you start your first round of PR pitches, use resources like www.helpareporterout.com or www.radioguestlist.com to find shows where your message will be a fit. It’s okay to start small. Because it will create content that you can add to your portfolio and use to get the larger gigs. At this level, success is not about having an established brand, it’s about talent. If you can write a great article, you can find someone to publish it. If you are great in interviews, you’ll be able to fill your schedule with interview appearances. Your talent will land you bookings.
Level 2- Local PR- When you have created a healthy portfolio and “As seen in” list, it becomes easier to get booked on local TV, local radio, and featured in Local print publications. Online PR will have built your skills and you’ll be stronger in interviews. To get these spots, get to know who the producers are in your area and learn to create a newsworthy pitch. Local PR will bring you a greater level of trust and a stronger stamp of approval than the online PR because it’s more selective, and because the people know local TV hosts, reporters, and DJ’s are local celebrities. Your potential clients know, like and trust them.
Level 3- National PR: National PR is probably where you want to start investing your PR Bucks! But here’s where you saved the money. When you hire a PR firm, and you are starting from scratch, they will take you through the early levels. I always cringed slightly when a publicist would book a client for my radio show because the small business owner in me knew they were paying for something they could have gotten for free. If you do the legwork for your PR person, they can jump in and start working directly on the bigger fish.
So, if you want to get started with obtaining free PR, where do you start? I recommend you start with you. When you are new, bad PR is bad PR. If you are a boring radio guest, your interview will get cut short and they won’t invite you back. You need to be media ready!
I don’t do media coaching, but I’ve got a colleague in business that is a pro with TV, radio, public speaking and event hosting. Aurea McGarry is an Emmy-award winner and knows the traditional media channels like the back of her hand. She is hosting her annual Live Your Legacy Summit in Atlanta, Ga and will be teaching you how to utilize the media in your business plan. I’ll be there speaking as well on business growth strategies and I’d love to have you join us! Click here to register http://liveyourlegacysummit.org/