What is Publicity?
Let’s start with a quick definition of publicity. According to Wikipedia, it is the management and control of information about a person or product. In my head, I heard that as “the control of knowledge”. So, publicity is basically how people learn about you and your business. Well, that’s helpful! It explains why I love it so much. I’m going to cover four main areas here: who to talk to, what kind of information you should give out (and how much), what not to do when talking with someone from the media, and finally some resources for you guys if any of this interests you! Let’s get started!
Who Do You Talk To?
The first thing we need to figure out is who we want talking about our business. Obviously we want as many people as possible hearing about us and our product/service/whatever! But let’s think realistically for a second here – there are thousands upon thousands of businesses in the world all competing for attention from the same people – journalists (or whoever else might be interested in writing an article or story). You can’t just throw yourself at them without thinking things through first – that would be like throwing yourself at 10 million people without knowing which ones will actually read your book/listen to your album/watch your film. The good marketers out there will tell you to focus your efforts. That means, we need to figure out who will be interested in our product (or service or whatever).
Let’s be honest here – it’s not like every journalist is going to want to write about our business. So we should really think about who might. Is it a local newspaper? An online news source? A blogger/journalist/vlogger with a huge following and tons of credibility? The answer is: it doesn’t matter! The better place for us to start is by identifying publications and individuals that will be interested in what we have to offer, and start contacting them individually instead of sending mass emails out hoping someone writes an article about us. We’ll get into that later though – first let’s talk about the kind of information you should give out if someone does get in touch with you!
What Kind of Information Do You Give Out When Talking With the Media?
We’re going back into theoretical land here, but bear with me! Let’s say a journalist gets in touch with us asking questions about a topic related to our business – they want an interview somehow. What do we do now!? Well. The first thing we need to do is ask ourselves “Why would they want to interview me?” If you’re a business owner, I’ll bet that your first thought is “Because they want an article about my business.” And that’s completely true! But if someone from the media wants to write an article about your business, it means you have something interesting going on. If journalists are scratching their heads and wondering why someone would be interested in hearing more about your product or service, then chances are people aren’t going to be interested in reading what you have to say either. So let’s think of other things we can talk about instead…
What else can we talk about? Let’s go back into Google land for a moment and pull up some common questions from journalists – these give us a good sense of what they might ask us if we were ever asked for an interview:
Who are you? Why did you start this company/organization/blog/whatever? What problem does it solve? Who does it help? How do I use it/why should I care/why will people love this product so much?! Tell me how X works! What kind of results have you had so far? Where can someone sign up / where can they learn more / where else should I go for information related to X?! Who else has used this product before (in case the journalist wants another person’s perspective)? etc… etc… etc.
The best thing we can do is to gather together as much information as possible before we talk to someone from the media. This might sound like a lot of work, and it definitely will take some time, but this kind of preparation will help you avoid talking about things that won’t be useful for journalists or your potential customers. Make sure you have everything ready to go when someone asks for an interview – and make sure they know all the information they need is right there! That way, all you’ll have to do is answer their questions!