Be your own best publicist

Jun 01, 2012
Be your own best publicist

Wouldn’t it be nice if each of us were so talented at our chosen professions that the world would come to us and acknowledge our gifts? We could be “discovered” like Marilyn Monroe by someone who could launch us into super-stardom.

Sadly, being discovered is much more of a myth than a reality. But that’s OK. We now live in a world driven by technology, new media and social networking platforms that allow us to tell our own story to the specific market we want to target. 

Today, given how easy it is to post information online on YouTube or other sites, your not-so-average Joe or Jane can gain attention for a crazy dance routine or comedy act. Hundreds of thousands of people have learned how to become their own best publicists. Now it’s your turn to use good PR to grow your business.

Here are some tips for being your own publicist to share your story with key influencers.

Get Focused:

Most entrepreneurs are multitalented and want to be all things to all people. Big mistake. The more focused you are about what you want people to know about you and your company, the more impact you’ll have.

The most important thing is to focus on media outlets that cover your particular industry.

First, create your own media list by paying attention to industry publications, editors and reporters who cover topics related to your business. Your goal is to get them to interview you.

Can you offer helpful hints or tips that would relate or connect to their readers or listeners, such as a Top 10 list of most popular Christmas toys or best-selling shoes for runners?

Seek out social media discussion groups where you can post comments and showcase your credibility. LinkedIn has thousands of industry-specific groups.

Consider working with a local nonprofit organization. Local radio, television and print reporters love to cover a “do good” story. Here’s a great example of one: A client of mine who is a landscaper helped a local women’s shelter by creating a “healing garden.” When it was finished, he invited the media to visit the outdoor space where he conducted a full “makeover.”   

My client received great press, and the publicity helped bring in donations for the nonprofit organization. It was a win-win-win situation for all involved.

Leverage Media Coverage Received:

Do as the restaurant industry does – reprint reviews and feature articles to send out to your prospects and customers. Frame positive reviews and hang them in your restaurant or store. Above all, take responsibility for leveraging the good coverage you receive. Don’t worry or obsess that receiving media coverage might not lead you to national awareness and over-the-top sales.

Further leverage your coverage by posting links on your website and sharing links and photos on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Spend some time every week promoting yourself, and don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.

Nancy Michaels
Nancy Michaels is CEO and founder of Grow Your Business, a company devoted to empowering business owners around the world with the strategies to live a financially secure life of their dreams.
A Fortune 500 consultant and small business coach, Michaels is the author of five books including Perfecting Your Pitch: 10 Proven Strategies for Winning the Clients Everyone Wants, and Off The Wall Marketing Ideas: Jumpstart Your Sales without Busting Your Budget.