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#5.11: The “Easy PR” Issue

When the press is used correctly it can be the best advertising! These tips will increase your PR power.

1> Local Is Global on the Internet
2> It Can Get Lonely in La Crosse
3> Journalists are People Too
4> Check It Out: Math for Counterfeiters

1> Local Is Global on the Internet

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars with the PR distribution services to get national exposure. PR Newswire and BusinessWire put all press releases online, even if you only pay to send your release to a small market. Once the press release is on the web, reporters and consumers will see it in Yahoo News, other search engines, and on the news services’ web sites. So here’s what we do: We use PR Newswire, but we pay to have the release sent only to reporters in the New York area. It costs only $150 (instead of $600). Everyone we care about will see it online, or has a news bureau in New York.

THE LESSON: There’s no such thing as “local” when the world is connected via the Internet.


2> It Can Get Lonely in La Crosse

A reporter in a small media market writes for the same wire service as the reporters in New York. Paying attention to these local stringers will increase your chances of getting your story covered. There isn’t as much competition for a reporter’s attention in smaller markets as there is in larger urban ones, and they don’t have all the big PR firms constantly harassing them. In LA your story might get thrown in the “who cares bin.” But in Sioux City you are hot off the wire. Cultivate relationships with reporters at all levels and in all locations. Some of the best coverage we ever received was from a Ft. Lauderdale-based stringer for Knight-Ridder, whose story showed up in the LA Times.

THE LESSON: It doesn’t have to be “The Wall Street Journal” every time. Break through in Biloxi for equal exposure.

3> Journalists are People Too

Reporters hate being managed. Treat them as normal people (who happen to need information), and you’ll get a lot more attention. If a reporter knows you and is comfortable around you then wouldn’t you assume they will treat you well? Invite them to events. Take a moment to talk to them about what’s going on. Drop them a note a few days before a press release, so they have time to prep for a story.

Of course, reporters love perks too. One of the greatest press-relations stunts we’ve ever heard was done by During the once-thriving conventions, IBreakfast rented limos to take reporters to and from all the corporate parties. IBreakfast got more exposure being on the side of the reporters than the corporate sponsors of the budget-busting parties. The reporters were pleased and the party planners didn’t mind when a few limos filled with happy reporters rolled up.

THE LESSON: Hospitality goes a long way when dealing with reporters.

4> Check It Out: Math for Counterfeiters

Is your money cool? The right string of numbers on each dollar bill can be. Check out this great site from Wharton professor Dr. Pete Fader.


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