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How to Dazzle the Public with Publicity
Chart a new course by the brightest star in business.
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 by Leslie McKerns
McKerns Development

Leslie McKernsWhen it comes to promoting your business, there are two stars: advertising and publicity. 

Which star sparkles brightest in marketing's celestial atmosphere? When it comes to building a business, the brightest star is publicity. Here's why publicity dazzles and outshines the rest.

1. Publicity is about getting buzz and press that you do not pay for, including mention in magazines, webzines, blogs, newspapers, trade and financial papers. Advertising is not a product of a publicist. A publicist does not place stories requiring advertising.

2. A Publicist generates non-fee based recognition, which means that you are not asked to exchange advertising dollars for editorial space. The result of publicity is attention, visibility, market share, recognition and branding.

3. Publicity is gained through the hiring and activities of (you guessed it), a publicist. Think that publicists are only for stars? Think again.

4. Publicity is a powerful tool for promoting your business. Therefore, a publicist is most assuredly for business owners. The reason for that is simple. People pay more attention to what others say about you than what you say about yourself. We are social beings, and want to trust those with whom we associate.

5. Publicity is the most effective, non-fee based activity a company can pursue. There is no other single activity that can produce such dramatic results, such as an 85% increase in recognition in less than a six month period.

6. A Publicist is adept at establishing core messages and fundamental corporate goals, and introducing them to the media and the public through high interest stories and press releases about products, people, services and benefits. The reason you read your favorite magazine, newspaper, blog or online news site is that you expect to find something there that is of use to you in your life -- it educates, informs, is relevant, useful for your needs, astonishes or entertains you. The reason you hire a publicist is to promote your business in a way that fulfills these expectations.

7. A Publicist knows how to format and engage interest through press releases and pitches for highly interesting feature stories that will be written in magazines and newspapers. The press release is your ticket to the formal affair called press. As with any ticket, there are rules of engagement, and the press release is bound by the rules of who, what, when, where and why (as in why should I care?).

8. A Publicist understands the reason and purpose of the press release. Press releases are a precursor to feature stories, because press releases are the vehicles used to build credibility and understanding of who you are, what relevant issues your company brings out, what your company stands for and what products or services you offer that might benefit others.

9. A Publicist understands what makes a story newsworthy. This is called the Rules of Three -- what makes a story newsworthy from your perspective, what makes a story newsworthy from the reader's perspective and what makes a story interesting and newsworthy from the publication's perspective.

If you want to promote a book, get an agent. If you want to promote a business, get a publicist. Publicity builds business -- it is the brightest star in marketing's sky.

Leslie McKerns, publicist and PR expert for small business, 
is owner of McKerns Development, a Florida based PR, marketing and strategic business development firm. For testimonials, samples and five unique service packages to fit the 
growth needs of small business owners go to

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