8 1/2 publicity tips for great media visibility in a wobbly economy

Canada’s first Advertising Week starts today, with events across the country. Speakers include Sir Richard Branson, and neural scientist – amazing speaker Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor.

In an article a few days ago in the National Post, the chief executive of Institute of Communication Agencies Gillian Graham argued that it’s the worst time to cut advertising spending:

“It has been proven that those who cut spending in these times will exacerbate their revenue challenges and ultimately, lose share.”

As with any statistics and most research, results are interpreted.

What the studies referred to above don’t do is compare revenue results if time and money is invested in advertising, versus less money invested and energy put toward getting free editorial.

In tough economic times, I’d argue, some of the advertising budget can be much better invested in publicity efforts. For far less money, clients can get more column 337248947_f1eadc7cc0inches, more airtime, more online presence and more visibility.

To get massive publicity coverage, you need:

  1. someone who’s a huge media consumer, across all media
  2. personal media contacts in your target market (I’ve re-thought this – I don’t think this it’s critical to already have these in place)
  3. a kickass, current media database
  4. a ‘hook’ – why this story now? why should readers/viewers/listeners care?
  5. a high-level (ideally, top) person who:
    • will make significant time available to do media interviews, and will be willing to prioritize last-minute media requests for the length of the campaign push
    • is a ‘good talker’ – articulate, energetic, can speak concisely, uses anecdotes/storytelling, and can translate more complex topics to layperson language
  6. someone other than your interviewee, to be the ‘pitch’ person
  7. great-quality visuals, minimum 300 dpi for most newspapers
  8. most of the publicity effort going to crafting individual media pitches
  9. a media relations professional who:
    • has created and executed many campaigns
    • genuinely believes in the cause, the event or the product that they are pitching
    • ideally has worked as a journalist or producer themselves

In tough economic times, directing money to free editorial via publicity is the route to go.

photo by Altemark

Lecturing rarely works: using fun to get Americans out to vote

Maybe the coolest political campaign video ad I’ve ever seen.

Who can break partisan gridlock in Washington on November 4? The answer in AARP’s
“Get Out the Vote” video may surprise you. Enter your name and see for yourself!

Works best if you enter your real name.

Will it get the voters out?