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Public Relations for the New Entrepreneur
Seven steps to getting known.
 More of this Feature
 Part 1: New Business PR
 Part 3: Bring it on Home
 Related Resources
 PR Toolkit
 Media Relations
 Media Directories
 Elsewhere on the Web
 Promising Promotion

by Jill Lublin
Promising Promotion

   (Seven Steps to Publicity - Continued)

Step # 3 is to define your audience and create a media list. Your list will, of course, be determined by the nature of your product or service, whether you are a local, national or international company and on which markets you are focusing your growth If you are a "local" trying to build a business in your community, then you will focus on local media.

On the other hand, if you are pursuing national growth, you will want to check out major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, entrepreneurial publications such as Fortune or Inc., or gender specific magazines such as Good Housekeeping or Men's Health. Another good source might be the trade or sales magazines for your profession or specialty. (You can find other leads under Media Directories.)  It's important to familiarize yourself with all the media you contact and to make preliminary phone calls to get the appropriate name for directing your release or media kit. Do an update at least every three months. A local list could easily have 100 names, and for national media 400 names would not be too many.

Step #4 is time to put together a press release a simple 3-4-paragraph one-page document that tells your story clearly. It must be unique to grab media attention FAST. The first paragraph must contain the "catch" phrase to grab them quickly. It should contain the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your story and begin with the city and state of origination.  (See the PR Toolkit for media release format samples.) Techniques for grabbing attention include giving a statistic showing that their audience needs this information, that it's relevant to current events or business news. The second paragraph might consist of a quick biography or additional information, and the third should contain a quote from the highest source you can find. It is always better to use someone else's words to praise you. Sometimes the media will only use the first paragraph, so it must contain all the relevant information.

Step #5 will involve creating a media kit which includes a copy of your media release as well as other information. This is used to create interest for the media to do a full story or have you appear on a TV or radio show. It is important to understand that each type of media has their own unique requirements for their particular audience. Obviously TV producers are interested in a "visual" hook, so you should include clear easily reproducible images. Radio will be more interested in the news hook or verbal aspect of your story. Just as you worked on your short term message at the beginning of your PR campaign, now you need to work on how best to exploit that image. How will you tell your story most effectively? It needs to be personal so an audience can put itself in your shoes, identify with it, and apply it to their own lives. It also must be interesting and give value and benefit to the audience. 

Your media kit should also include a company background piece or brochure, a pricing sheet, any press clippings (reproduced on your stationary), and any other public relations materials. Grabbing attention is imperative so packaging is critical. This involves the careful selection of eye-catching colors for the folder as well as the contents. Quality says a lot so don't skimp. Consider having the cover embossed or using a logo sticker, select a folder with a business card insert, and select easy to read, crisp clear text and quality paper.

    Next page > Bring it on Home > Page 1, 2, 3

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