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Many entrepreneurs believe that they understand what public relations is, but very few do. Publicity and public relations can be used to boost your business by thousands of dollars a week or kill it; the trouble is using it to your advantage.
I'm going to cover a few of the basics for getting good publicity and why you need to do them. If you do, you can be assured that you will be increasing your business at a rapid speed. Publicity, if used correctly, can be many times more valuable than advertising, and best of all, it's free.
1. Always be honest- when you are talking with a journalist, either through email or the phone, you must always be honest. Journalists have a sort of BS detector and can see what is truthful, what is hype and what is outright lies. If your new, they'll probably excuse some hype for the first time but they will never forgive you if you outright lie to them.
2. Know what is news - if you are launching a new web page about your cats, that is not news. Honestly, no one cares. I really shouldn't be saying this, but you would be amazed at the number of people who put out news releases on subjects that no one in their right mind would consider news. However, many entrepreneurs don't realize when they are sitting on a publicity goldmine. For example, if a celebrity is a happy user of your product, if your company is putting out an interesting or unusual product or service or your company has come up with an extremely innovative product, then you probably have some news on your hands!
3. Know whom to target- when you are releasing a new hairdryer that increases efficiency by 40%, you can call the product sections of the news organizations near you. however, you would be ill advised to call an organization that has nothing to do with your products, "cat monthly", for example. "pr spam" is a much-feared problem for journalists and pr practitioners alike. My rule is that you can send a release to a journalist you don't know if you believe that it is very well targeted. I'm not like a few people who believe that you need their express permission; simply by being journalists and posting their information, they are inviting news. However, this being said, don't spam them.
Try to keep these rules in mind the next time you are looking to get some major publicity to skyrocket your business. Keep to common sense and use old fashioned networking, and you too will be sitting on a publicity goldmine!
Bryan Thompson is a young entrepreneur and founder of Press Release Writing Online (http://www.prwritingonline.com). In his experience as a freelance publicist, writer and entrepreneur, he has worked with dozens of small, medium and large companies. He is also writing a book on the basics of Publicity for small businesses and managing several other businesses at the same time. You may contact him at [email protected].
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