A friend of mine used to work for a ‘marital aid’ company. Without getting into particulars (sorry!) it was a product that made the procreation process much simpler. Less painful, less awkward. Easier on the joints.
You’d think a product like that would be simple to sell. Dump a few dollars into some print ads, throw a few more towards PPC and Bob’s Your Uncle. Anyone who knows anything about advertising knows the old adage that “Sex Sells.” So selling actual sex-related products should be a slam dunk.
And, she tells me, it was! The ROI on the advertising campaign was good, she says. Not great but good. But then…then came the PR campaign.
Part of my friend’s gig was to be continually sending out press releases. She sent them to radio stations, newspapers, magazines, TV shows. She was tasked with finding just the right bullet points, just the perfect headline to make the editors or producers want to talk about her product on air.
And then one day she did it. A full page article in Penthouse magazine. They had hired a nationally-known, TV-famous sex expert to write a sexual health column and one month, she ended up writing a full page review of the product and praised to the heavens.
The day that issue hit the streets, the company didn’t just see a sizable bump in sales. It was a record-breaking sales day. Traffic to the site was intense and more interestingly, the time on site was greatly reduced.
That’s because they arrived at the site, already convinced before arriving. They were converted before they ever got there. They didn’t need to click around and research any more about the product. They just headed right for the shopping cart.
That? Doesn’t happen with ads.
You may drive traffic to your site but then you have to keep convincing, convincing, convincing them. So if you have been spending 100% of your marketing hours working on finding great places to place ads, and spending time crafting the perfect ad…stop.
Carve out at least some of that time and work on developing your public relations strategy! You’ll get so much more bang for the buck!
Here are 5 tips to help you successfully pitch your product or service to media outlets like bloggers, editors and journalists:
1. Get Newsy
Let’s say you are a DUI lawyer. That’s not the sexiest “service” you could pitch. But you know what is sexy? Celebrities. Celebrities get caught drinking and driving all the time.
So pre-write a blog post about how you would advise Celebrity X to better handle that DUI charge. Then turn on a Google News Alert for “celebrity DUI” .
The day someone gets pinched for a DUI, you’ll know about it. Then all you have to do is plug in their name to your pre-written blog post and send it out immediately to bloggers, offering the post to them if they agree to link to your site.
This works for any topic. If you sell birdseed, you could set up a news alert about migration patterns, celebrity pet birds, etc. If you are a marketing consultant, you could turn a news alert on for any conferences that are happening across the country and then write about them as they are happening.
The possibilities are endless. Google news alerts are the sharpest knives in your PR toolbox!
2. Solve A Problem
Bloggers, writers and editors all know that one of the most compelling things you can do for your readers is to help them solve their problems.
There’s a reason Cosmopolitan magazine always runs headlines about tips and tricks on their covers. It’s because they know that their readers have problems with their (here’s that topic again!) boring sex lives or stalled careers or acne issues.
So when they offer solutions to these problems, they know that readers will grab that issue off the shelf and buy it!
So put your thinking cap on and figure out how your product or service can help that blogger’s audience solve a problem. Then frame your pitch around that! For instance, if you sell cordless drills, don’t pitch “The new features of our Ultra Cordless 2015 model!”
Instead, approach a popular crafting blogger with “Crafting Anywhere! 5 Portable Projects You Can Create with A Cordless Drill.” Get inside their heads and think about their problem…not just your product.
3. Research and Praise
The quickest way to turn a blogger or journalist off is to pitch them something that has ZERO to do with their audience or theme. Not only is pitching, say, a cordless drill to a religious blog a waste of your time, it’s a great way to make the blogger mad that you didn’t even bother to read their blog before pitching it!
So take some time and actually read the 2 or 3 most recent posts. Find out what they talk about and how they talk about it. Once you do that, you’ll have a better sense of how to pitch them.
Also, once you have immersed yourself in their blog a bit you’ll be better equipped to do something else. You’ll be able to flatter them, tell them how much you enjoyed their piece on XYZ and even offer a thoughtful comment on it, proving you actually read it.
Important note: Don’t overdo it. No one likes a suck-up. But offering a genuine bit of praise can often help you stand out from everyone else who is pitching that blogger or editor.
4. Get Listed
Everything we have been talking about thus far is “push” PR. But there is such a thing as “pull” PR too. That is, there’s a way to not have to constantly be pushing yourself out there, and instead, have journalists and bloggers contacting YOU.
To take advantage of “pull” PR you need to be out there where they can find you. You need to make sure you are listed on media directories that writers check when they have an article or blog post to write and they are actively looking for an expert to chime in. An expert like you!
Here is a list of a few of the top media directories. Some of these come with a fee, but keep reminding yourself that the money you invest in PR will pay off much more than straight advertising dollars.
5. Be Subtle
Finally, the best way to get great PR and to become a relied-upon expert who gets quoted again and again is to avoid the hard sell. There are going to be times–when you finally get the attention of a blogger or journalist– when you are tempted to start talking overtly about your product or service.
Don’t do it. Stop yourself.
By shoehorning in self-serving mentions, you are eroding your usefulness as a source. Readers don’t want to read an advertisement and your blogger knows that.
They will have to edit out your ramblings about features and prices and discounts. That makes you not worth the trouble and they might not call on you again.
Getting your link out there is enough. Getting your name out there as a trusted pro is enough. Readers are inclined to think that if someone is trusted enough to be quoted in an article, they’re trustworthy enough to buy from.
So let me have them! Tell me your best PR victories, or your worst blunders. How many hours a week do you devote to PR? Think you should do more? Less? Tell me in the comments below!
Are You Ready To Start Doubling Your Business With Half The Effort?
If you have a business, whether it’s established or brand new, wouldn’t it be great to know how to use free and low priced modern marketing methods to boost the number of customers banging on your door and dramatically increase your profits? And with no technical degree, no sales staff and just a few minutes a day.
As a member of The Owners Club, you’ll get free access to the methods I used to bootstrap my company from zero to a million dollars in its first 12 months with no sales staff (it was actually $1,002,000). And the methods I’m using today to keep growing it beyond 97,000 customers with very little effort. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.
Go here to get started