What do Kim Kardashian, Coca Cola and Beyonce have in common? Publicity.
Thanks in large part to publicity, they became famous. Tell me you drink Coca-Cola because it tastes great, and I’ll bet you’ve never tried Chek Cola. Do you think Beyonce is a better singer than the tens of thousands of other talented singers out there? Surely not. And we all know that Kim Kardashian would be just another 30 year-old in L.A. if it weren’t for the relentless publicity manufactured by her show’s producers.
Every day, companies wonder what it takes to make it big. While the answer may not be simple, publicity is a pivotal part of the answer — and that means a lot of publicity, not just a splash of it here and there. Without heavy publicity, companies can create a great product or service but nobody will know about it. Much like the amazing singer who sings at the local lounge, talent and effort will be wasted, never making it to the big time.
So how do you publicize your product or service to make it famous? Here are five steps to get you started:
1. Tell your story
Write and distribute 1-2+ press releases per month. Make sure your announcements will genuinely interest the press, though. That means they should not sound like brochures, but instead provide the kind of “newsy” information that enables reporters to write a good article.
2. Write articles or blogs
Submit articles, opinion editorials (OpEds) or blogs to targeted media outlets. Keep in mind that your submissions should be interesting to read. If they put readers to sleep, your effort will be in vain. Aim to have 3-5 articles or blogs published per quarter to become established as a thought leader.
3. Get active on social media
Build up your followers and communicate with them proactively. Get creative, too. This is not a medium for stuffy messages and boring headlines. Post eye-catching, interesting captions, photos, and quotes. Create a personality for your brand.
4. Speak at conferences
There’s nothing like getting out there for people to get to know you. Each year, there are many opportunities to speak at conferences and tradeshows. Just make sure you speak at events attended by your target audience.
5. Apply for awards
Applying for awards has two very valuable outcomes. First, most trade awards are judged by reporters and industry leaders, so any time they have to read your award nomination, they are getting to know about your company and could become an advocate. Secondly, receiving an award gives your company a lot of credibility.
Keep in mind that publicity is not a one-time thing. You need to be out there, and you need to be out there a lot in order for people to embrace you. Much like sales, it requires work in order to generate results.
How do you do it? Having worked as VP of Marketing for a mortgage technology company and having done PR in-house, I can attest to the fact that outsourcing public relations is far more effective and less costly than doing it in-house. Public relations agencies have the connections, the know-how, the dedicated staffing and the constant leads required to make companies famous.
Can you think of anyone who became famous without a publicist? If so, let me know! There are very few out there. Email me at Info@StrategicVantage.com.
By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage