Just Because You Want Publicity Does Not Mean You Should Have Publicity

Everyone wants publicity for their products and services. But just because they want it does not mean they should get it. There are a lot of questions everyone should ask themselves before seeking publicity.

First, you must ensure that what you have really is as fantastic as you think it is. If it’s not and you get press coverage then the end result can be devastating. Secondly, you must have some kind of angle. What you do or what you have is not always enough. You must be able to position it in a way that explains how your product will make a significant different to the end-users (media viewers or readers). You need to start with a marketing plan so you know HOW to promote.

What aspect of your product makes it totally different from the competition, and focus
only on that when you talk to the press. You cannot promote price or quality as the differentiating factor. You have to have an angle the entices the media, which isn’t easy. Keep in mind that they receive press releases and pitches all day, every day. How are you TRULY different and how can you entice media in one or two sentences? Also, make sure you pitch to the correct media, do not throw it out to everyone and see what sticks. Determine what magazines, newspapers, and other media sources are watched or read by your potential customers and pitch to them.

Getting press coverage is not easy. There is a reason that publicists are among the best paid individuals in Los Angeles. You can leverage your chances by affiliating yourself with a nonprofit charity. The press are more apt to report about a commercial product if part of the proceeds benefit a charity. Find a qualified organization that matches the purpose of your product. Several years ago I was tasked with getting attention for a children’s art exhibition with the theme “A Child’s Dream.” It was fascinating to the children and their parents, but few others took interest. I had the idea to work with Starlight Children’s Foundation. We would create an auction that would benefit this organization. A quiet little reception became a red carpet event with Disney stars making appearances and posing for photographs with the young artists. It was an evening that neither Starlight or I could have put together without each other.

The lesson here is to ensure that what you’re selling truly is remarkable. When it’s time for publicity put yourself in the position of the press. Give them something to write about that will interest their viewers.