Top 7 Tips To Plant Publicity Seeds
By Todd Brabender
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As the year winds down, many businesses and entrepreneurs are making plans and budgets for 2001. Those plans could include anything from setting up goals for new products to preparing marketing, sales and PR campaigns. When it comes to your PR/publicity plan, WHEN you launch your campaign can be just as important to what and how you launch.
- If your product/business lends itself to increased holiday sales, the next few weeks are a perfect time to get a PR campaign launched - given the right media targets. Although many holiday issues have already been laid out for magazines, many other media outlets are feverishly seeking information/ pitches on innovative stories for the holidays. Some media outlets even reorganize or beef up staff around the holidays to allow for an increase in stories on products. Have your publicist help you take advantage of this increased media opportunity.
- Some business owners may be of the mindset: "I think we'll wait to launch a publicity campaign until after January 1st." The problem is - if you wait to launch your PR campaign until the first of the year hoping for a quick media interest blast in January, you may be in for a quiet month. Keep in mind most media outlets have editorial lead-times of a few weeks to six months.
- Also what some entrepreneurs don't realize is this. Because of the increasing number of PR pitches media outlets receive, anything you send out is subjected to what I call the "media digestion period" - simply put - that is a period of time (sometimes days, sometimes weeks) that it takes media outlets to:
- see/understand your release and decide if they are interested;
- find space/time in their editorial calendar to place the article/news story/show segment.
- Having said that though, there are several "immediate media" opportunities you should pursue. From my professional experience, here is the breakdown of editorial lead-times of the media formats from quickest to most drawn out:
- Radio Shows - sometimes 24 hours but typically 3 to 7 days.
- TV News Affiliates - 1 to 2 weeks
- Newspapers - 2 to 6 weeks
- Magazines & Network TV Shows - 1 to 6 months
- The potential placement is also directly dependent upon how quickly and efficiently your publicist or PR agency can help the media secure the placement. Media relations is crucial. Your publicist's job is to make the reporter/editor/producer's job as easy and as effortless as possible - which will lead to quicker and more numerous placements for your business.
- When it comes to publicity pitches, the facts are: placement is totally up to the discretion of the particular media outlet; and very few media responses are immediate. I have in fact had media outlets respond even before the media release seemed to settle in the fax machine tray. Conversely, I also had one media outlet that responded 17 months after a pitch. (I had to ask the reporter what the YEAR was on the release!) NO placement is guaranteed, but you can definitely increase the odds. Even if your product/business is a dead-on perfect match for a media outlet's editorial profile, you are not guaranteed placement without some hard work and media relations. That's why timing of your publicity pitch is so critical. Have your publicist get your pitch to the media, allow the editorial staff to digest it a bit, and strategically and professionally "rattle the cage" over the next several weeks to generate as many placements as possible.
- What we are trying to do is plant seeds in media outlets' editorial garden so they will bear fruit - in the form of articles/show placements - continuously over the next several weeks and months. Like the plant that comes from a seed, publicity placements can also grow roots and lead to other arterial media placements in other media outlets. Given the right tending, the publicity seeds you plant over the next few weeks will indeed germinate and you'll reap a wonderful harvest for your business well past the first quarter of next year.
Todd F. Brabender
Spread The News Public Relations, Inc.
Generating publicity & media exposure for innovative
Article Submitted On: November 29, 2000