Pulling a rabbit out of the publicity hat
Those moments make me feel a bit of a fraud. I'm certainly no Penn (or Teller, for that matter ... I'm actually quite chatty). To be frank, there's no smoke-and-mirrors mystery to getting noticed. For the most part, making a client look good in the public eye — whether a nonprofit, a mom and pop shop, or a global corporation — really comes down to consistency, frequency, and a little common sense.
I'm not giving away earth-shattering trade secrets here. I DO believe in "teaching a man to fish," and a client who understands the basics of the tactics I implement is a helpful, satisfied client, long-term. Armed with the same knowledge, we can meet our publicity goals all the quicker.
Businesses or organizations wishing to take a "hands-on" approach to pulling a rabbit out of the publicity hat to boost visibility may benefit from the following insights:
1. Frequency of exposure impacts publicity success. It can take at least three exposures, usually more, before a consumer notices a message and takes action. The more ways/times a business or organization puts info out to the public the more likely a consumer will eventually absorb the message.
2. Consistency of message is a huge factor in gaining positive attention. Without consistency, a consumer may become confused about what the business or organization stands for and can offer. One of my first actions, when taking on a new publicity project, is to "deep dive" into the client's website, printed publicity materials, and social media content. If the content does not send a consistent message (I should literally see duplication of key message points throughout), I work to consolidate and create consistency across all platforms.
3. Brand is the overreaching message an organization is trying to send to its consumers. Essentially, the brand illustrates what the organization stands for. The goal should be to improve the consumer's relationship with a brand and develop trust, loyalty, and engagement.
4. Advertising includes purchased magazine ads, special offers, coupons, etc. Advertising may have a clear "sales" feel (sometimes welcome/requested by the consumer ... sometimes not) and is recognizable as an obvious, paid attempt to get a consumer to say “yes.” Advertising is usually trackable and tangible.
5. Public Relations is a less trackable, less tangible publicity tool, but just as beneficial, whether working in tandem with advertising or alone. Such efforts allow businesses or organizations to promote goodwill and public interest, with or without a sale. They may include corporate newsletters, informational blogs, press releases leading to published articles in local media, an interactive website, or even sponsorship of a community fundraising event. Public Relations efforts are usually more about connecting with the consumer and promoting brand, with or without a sale.
6. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. According to Pew Research Center, about 7 in 10 Americans use social media to connect with one another. When posting on social media — Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter, and so on — keep in mind your consumer demographics including gender, age, race, financial status, etc. Each social media platform attracts a different market.
7. Community Facebook groups are available in almost any regional/special interest community and provide a FREE venue to promote brand and/or collaborate with other like-minded individuals. Overt sales posts are not necessary to make an impact. Even a post with a picture featuring an organization's summer interns can provide positive exposure. Paid, targeted boost opportunities are also available in this format. Be respectful of group rules and avoid controversial subjects, unless that is the brand message you are trying to promote in the name of your organization. Regardless of the social media platform, never forget that readers form an opinion that could impact a future sale.
Whether trying to implement publicity on your own or with a professional's help, having at least a little background knowledge can help in the process of getting noticed.
It's not magic.
There's no false bottom in that top hat ... just consistency, frequency, and a little common sense.
And maybe a rabbit, if you're lucky;) They're awfully cute.
#publicity #PR #advertising