Entrepreneurship Journal #14 – Get In the News Or You Lose. Unleash the Power of Public Relations (PR).
**This blog was written by the founder of DJ Connection Tulsa Wedding DJ Service, the U.S. Entrepreneur of the Year, the President / Founder of the Bridal Association, Author and Tulsa Motivational Speaker – Clay Clark
Bill Gates once famously quipped, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Is one of the world’s wealthiest people of all time truly telling us that his most important business asset is the public’s perception of his business? Before we can begin to really delve into why public relations is so vitally important to your business and your overall success I think it’s important that we define what exactly public relations is.
According to the Public Relations Society of America, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Public Relations is all about shaping the way that the public views your products and services. To get your “PR Mind” working, let me give you just a few examples of how PR has the shaped the world around you without you knowing. Over the years, I’ve met with and worked with countless reporters and journalists. I’ve became friends with numerous news producers and media personalities. When I first began meeting this I was always shocked by how white their teeth were and by how much of the news that they share with viewers on a daily basis was first shared with them by PR firms. I know that there have been countless studies about the influence of PR firms on journalism, but from my first-hand experience I sincerely believe that a little over half of all news stories originate from PR firm’s press-release. What? Am I saying that nearly 50% of the news has been created by the marketing and image consulting firms that we have come to recognized as PR Firms? Yes. I am saying this, because I have witnessed it first hand. Did you know that the Beatles uses PR to become famous before they were famous? Did you know their publicists actually organized and choreographed the images we’ve all seen on the screen of their “British Invasion” and the screaming teenage girls that cheered for them? Did you know that Frank Sinatra’s concerts were filled with paid “screamers and fainters?” Have you ever contemplated why the Kardashians are famous? Are they famous for being famous? Are they famous because of the sex tape or are they famous because they have fully harnessed the “Power of P.R.”
Years ago I did marketing consulting for a mortgage company. Many of the applicants who came into the doors to apply for mortgages excitedly shared with us that they were attempting to build a house “with the same homebuilders that the Extreme Home Makeover Edition used!” These people were pumped to use a builder because of their association with the hit show. A few years ago I bought the book, “Think Big and Kick Ass” by Donald J. Trump and a guy named Bill Zanker. Only after I brought it home and started to read it did I discover that the book was nearly completely written by Bill Zanker. To book was a good read, but Donald J. Trump who was pictured on the cover only wrote a very small portion of the book. Every year companies hire me to speak because I was the U.S. Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year. People love that! Sure I’ve started successful companies and have worked my butt off to achieve success, but that award is all some people care about.
I once attended a seminar that was put on by a guy who was actually charging people who wanted him to write an endorsement for their book. For an additional few thousand dollars he would actually get take his photo with you which you were allowed to include in your book to lend it credibility. And at one point this guy actually paid thousands of dollars for Michael Jordan to take a photo with him and to endorse his content. It’s amazing how many birthday parties our entertainment company has booked over the years simply because people know that we have DJed and provided entertainment for Chuck Norris’ family. My friend, your potential customers shouldn’t prejudge you and I, but they do. You shouldn’t prejudge other companies but you do.
If your company is the official service or product provider for a Fortune 500 company like Disney or IBM it has the power to change the perception of all of your potential customers. Imagine that your potential customers search for you in Google and they find a news story about how your company is the official service provider for Disney. What kind of impact would that make on their buy decisions? Imagine they watch an online video and saw that your company was the company of choice for a major company whom their company looks up to? You might have the deals closed before you or sales people ever talk to them?
Now imagine that your potential customers visit your website or Google search you and they don’t find any awards or any accolades. Imagine they just find your factual website offering good products and services for a good price. Are they wowed? How much harder will your sales people have to work to close the deal?
If you want to harnass the “Power of P.R.” you really only need to follow the checklist provided below. If you want a templated example of what a press-release needs to look like, you can request one by contacting our team at www.MakeYourLifeEpic.com in the body of the email request a copy of a sample press-release. If you would like even more outstanding information you need to pickup a copy of Michael Levine’s book “Guerilla P.R. 2.0.” This book is phenomenal and has the power to blow your mind. My friend your company will sell dramatically more things to more people if you will simply take action today!
- Make a list of all of the awards that your ideal clients and likely buyers are most likely to value (example: If you clean windows, winning the “Window Cleaner of the Year Award” for your town could be worth thousands of dollars for your company).
- Apply to compete for this award.
- Make a list of the newspapers that your ideal clients and likely buyers would be impressed by if they found an article about your company in these publications.
- Create some newsworthy events and make sure your send out your press-releases to these newspapers.
- Make a list of the magazines that your ideal clients and likely buyers would be impressed by if they found an article about your company in these publications.
- Create some newsworthy events and make sure your send out your press-releases to these magazines.
- Make a list of the local TV stations that your ideal clients and likely buyers would be impressed by if they found a story about your company on these stations.
- Create some newsworthy events and make sure your send out your press-releases to these stations.
- Make a list of the national TV stations that your ideal clients and likely buyers would be impressed by if they found a story about your company on this channel.
- Create some newsworthy events and make sure your send out your press-releases to these channels.
- Make a list of TV shows that your ideal clients and likely buyers would be impressed by if they found an Episode about your company on this channel.
- Focus your attention on getting your company in front of the producers for these shows. Let them see how incredible and newsworthy your company is.
- Make a list of the ideal clients that your ideal clients would be impressed by if they found out your company was the official service provider of choice for them.
- See to it that your company provides service for this company, even if you have to do it at a loss to earn their business. Then tell the world about your connection with this company on your website, in your newsletters, in your sales presentations and everywhere you market your brand.
- Make a list of the people of influence in your community whose opinions people listen to.
- Make it your top priority to add value to these people. Give them free stuff, show them how good your products and services are and they get out of their way and let them talk about how much they love it to everyone they know.
- Make a list of the local radio shows that your ideal clients and likely buyers would be impressed by if they found a story about your company on this channel.
- Make it your goal to get your company featured on these shows.
- Make a list of the nation radio shows that your ideal clients and likely buyers would be impressed by if they found a story about your company on this channel.
- Make it your goal to get your company featured on these shows.
- Make a list of the leading customer review websites that your ideal clients would be impressed by if they discovered favorable reviews about your company on them.
- Make it your mission to get your happy clients to post reviews here.
- Make a list of the places that your ideal customers and likely providers shop at.
- Make it your priority to display your goods and services there.
When you send out a press release make sure that you follow this sequence of events exactly.
1) Find out which specific people in the media are most likely to cover your story.
2) Call up the organization and get their email address.
3) Send out your press-release.
4) Call the reporter to confirm they received the release and to give them your pitch. Your pitch should be short and should sound like this: “Hey Doug, this is Clay Clark with Make Your Life Epic how are you? Hey are you up against a deadline? Well here is the scoop. Employment numbers look bad in our city and I’ve been brought in to give a big motivational talk to the city’s business leaders. It starts at 6 PM at the Mayo Hotel. There is free food for all of the members of the media and I know that since you cover the leading business news in Tulsa, your viewers would love it. Do you have any questions?” Don’t sound rushed, but be direct and speak with confidence. I’m in the news all the time and I’m telling you it is not because I’m smart. Just follow the system.
5) Keep your cell phone on in case the media calls for questions.
6) Once you’ve been featured in the news put it on every piece of marketing material you have. The phrase “As seen on” is worth a lot of credibility for your salespeople on the front lines.
7) Send out links to your media coverage through your Social Media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Youtube, etc…)
8) Post links to the content on your website.
9) Put the phrase “As seen on” on the homepage of your website so that it is the first thing your potential customers and active customers see. It solidifies and builds credibility with everyone.
10) Send a thank you card to the reporter who was gracious enough to cover you.
When you send out your press-releases, you must make sure they are in the correct format and that you have completely thought out the logistics of the event or story you are organizing. If you are doing a press-conference and you don’t have your details covered this could be the last time the media comes to visit you. Because local reporters tend to stick a local stations for a long-time (until they get promoted to a larger market), you can’t afford to ruin any relationships.
If you can’t think of any good PR, newsworthy and overall media attention getting events go through the checklist below and you will get a good idea, if your brain functions properly.
1) Do a Google search for companies in the same industry as you in different markets. What did they do to get media coverage? Consider doing exactly that?
2) Scan the headlines. Think, “why are these people in the news?” Think about how you could do something similar to them.
3) Repeatedly ask yourself, what are the readers, viewers and listeners of this media outlet interested in? Do something that will spike their interest.
4) Set a Genius World Record for something. Do something big. Do Something crazy! Arthur built the largest “Snow Cone in the World!” I built the “Largest Snowman In Tulsa.”
5) Consider doing something that won’t kill you, but is crazy! The founder of Virgin Records, Airlines, etc…Richard Branson is always doing something over the top to get media attention.
6) Remember, marketing guru Seth Godin’s quote, “If you are not remarkable, you are invisible.” Make an outrageous claim that your company can back-up. Our product is 10 times better than such-and-such’s product and we are ready for a taste-test challenge!
7) Call the Make Your Life Epic Success Institute and hire us develop a PR strategy for you.