Anyone who has spent any time studying marketing is aware of the primary way of achieving your target audience's attention, and it's known as publicity. When you know what publicity is, it's quite simple to put it to work.
While public relations (PR) generally covers the whole spectrum of publicity, it's the marketing side of it that we will concentrate on here. The basic definition is that publicity is the act of getting the word out.
As you'll see from the examples provided below, publicity is actually defined as getting the right people to know about your product, service, or campaign.
Let's go back to the definition of the word. In everyday language, the word "public" means "for the general public." It's not as narrow as it seems.
It also means "to the general public, for example, the media." It is the act of sending the message to the right people in the right medium at the right time.
As far as getting the right people to know about your product or service, publicity is actually the communication you make. It is the discussion that you start.
It is the marketing you execute.
Let's use an example to illustrate how publicity can be used to achieve a goal. The following two photos were taken by a photographer working for a national magazine.
Photo one shows a young person with a device in her mouth. The device is called a pacifier.
It's a plastic/plastic composite pacifier. This is a perfectly healthy development, except that the device may need to be replaced periodically.
The young woman's parents allow her to carry a pacifier for the same reason that you might allow a child to carry a purse. It's a way to distract her from her pain and suffering.
Photos two and three show that the young woman had another procedure that was needed. The procedure took place at a local hospital.
In the photos, the young woman appears to be relaxing and having a good time. This is an indication that the young woman is at home and she's recovering well.
She's doing well for an incident that was traumatic and her first. But how did this incident make it onto the cover of the magazine?
The reporter for the magazine reached out to the hospital for the first photos of the young woman's recovery. Once she got them, she contacted the parents of the young woman.
They decided to release the photos to the reporter to get her story. The magazine reached out to the doctor that performed the procedure and asked him to be interviewed.
The doctor agreed, and so did the photographer. These three people had all contributed to getting the story on the cover of the magazine.
There's more to publicity than just the photo. As the article notes, in the photo above, we see the young woman with a pacifier in her mouth, and the pacifier is in a secure position.
This is excellent publicity because the picture draws a visual comparison. We're reminded that there are others out there like the young woman.
We see the bright colors of the pacifier. We see the warm lighting in the room.
This draws our attention to the young woman and reminds us of the cycle of life. It's a great way to attract our attention and the attention of the general public.
What this article illustrates is that publicity is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals. It provides the clues to get the right people to know about your product or service and to allow them to learn about it.
This is what's missing from much of what we hear today. Today we hear one side of a story. Many times, we don't hear the other side.
The stories are too often negative.
We're so busy in our lives that we forget to look for the good. We forget to give praise to those who make a difference.
But don't worry, we are not all too ignorant. There are stories to be told about those who do all the work we don't see.
Sometimes these stories are lost in history. But some stories can help us recognize and build on the good.
They are stories that people remember. Stories that can make all the difference in our lives.
Research. Do your homework.
Find out about their lifestyle, their professional interests, and how they might be a source of additional information you can use to your advantage. Speak to the people in your network and find out about those people, too.
The more well-known you are, the more "hangers-on" you'll attract. Make sure to put in the work to determine who you want to contact and how you will reach them.
Some people enjoy being part of a group but don't necessarily want to be introduced to you. Go to lunch or dinner with them and ask questions.
Ask for some referrals if they are willing.
Be strategic about the time and place you, first contact people. A place with people around is usually more receptive than in a more isolated setting.
Please bring plenty of business cards and spread them out among the crowd. Be prepared to give them and keep them if you get the chance.
Once you contact a person, or an organization, with the intent of approaching them for an informational interview, you should be well on your way to an ongoing relationship. Identify and develop an opportunity for mutually beneficial cooperation.
Some people are more than willing to give you a piece of their time to build rapport and relationships. Seek out opportunities for mutual benefit and delivery.
For instance, you may want to engage the media in a forum or write an article for publication. You can also seek out a place for networking, such as a place of business or facility you might be visiting regularly.
If there is a social media resource in the area, take advantage of it. If you create a series of successful "while you're here" strategies that gets your name out there, your next move might be speaking at a local association event or an industry event.
Regularly follow up on your initial contact. If they are unavailable for an interview, it's best to follow up the next day or the day after.
Otherwise, there's not much to lose, and you can use the person as a source of information for future reference. If you don't get the opportunity to meet them at the event, follow up after the event by contacting them privately via email or LinkedIn, which gives you a more private forum to build a relationship.
Don't just follow through and contact someone if you get the opportunity. Try again.
That may mean another opportunity to set up a meeting and another opportunity to connect. It may be important to wait until you know the person well before asking for an interview.
If they decline, it's usually best to keep the request in the back of your mind because you may not want to have to do that again anytime soon. If you do not get a request for an interview, ask them for some information and share your information or some event you've been at to follow up and establish a relationship.
Some people love to share their successes. You may also want to connect with them on social media so that they can get to know more about you.
After all, these people are your "lunchtime" friends. The more you engage them, the more you can build a relationship.
Follow up when you can, but take your time. Take this step seriously, and it can be well worth your effort.