April 5, 2010
Is getting publicity hard? Hard work, yes… But not difficult.
In my world, it's simple to catch a glimpse of how publicity and public relations operate. No, it's not because I'm already in the PR business. My twin daughters are great examples of how PR and publicity work every day.
"Mommy, look at my picture!" And of course, not only do I look at it, but sing its praises it and tell her dad about it too.
Get it? Publicity in action.
If you don't think you're geared up for publicity for your group coaching program, how about taking a few training tips from my girls:
1. Brag a little. If you want visibility, you've got to tell your target market. Good deeds (and good work) often go unseen otherwise. When Lyra finished her stuffed toy arrangement, she needed to let us know, otherwise it would have just been a mass of stuffed animals to us.
2. Dress for your dream. Playing dress up is constantly a fun game that boosts energy and creativity. Sometimes dressing up is sufficient to get you going and feeling like you really ARE someone!
3. Be sociable. Sasha always says hi and hugs people she meets. Good PR is all in the relationships, so pick up the phone and connect. (Hugging isn't always necessary, but also nice once in a while!)
4. Silence is not golden. In our home, it often means something big is brewing and disorder is near. So don't be quiet; speak your mind, as it often gets people talking more - which adds to your visibility.
5. Sharing is not optional. We all know someone who just takes and takes and takes. And no one wants to play with a taker. Share your wisdom and ideas, and you will become known credible and receptive.
Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Coaching Mastery, and the founder of Be Heard Solutions.
Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity.
For more PR and publicity tips, get the free publicity power pack at Be Heard Solutions.
March 2, 2010
If you want to build a powerful presence to increase your visibility and your credibility for your group coaching program, you need to look beyond traditional media and add blogs to the list.
There are thousands of bloggers out there who already have access to the target market you want to reach. So you really need to connect with them.
Yet, few group coaches know how to pitch a blogger in a way to help ensure a connection is made. Some consistently break the first rule, wasting their time, as well as the blogger they are targeting.
So what is the first rule you need to know?
TRADITIONAL PRESS RELEASES ARE A WASTE OF TIME; THEY HATE IT!
Even though a press release is out, there are some basics that both the traditional and online media want. Here's a quick list:
- Is it newsworthy? Bloggers are just as picky as journalists. They're going to disregard your pitch if it isn't relevant, interesting or worth telling their readers about.
- Leave the jargon for your peers. Just like in traditional media, the blogger is speaking to the general public to some extent. Most will not understand jargon, and the blogger might not either. Keep it uncomplicated, as always.
But there are some differences you need to know when pitching bloggers. Here are some things that should be done differently for the blogosphere:
- Keep it personal. It is useful to follow and be actively participating by leaving comments on their blog. This way when you pitch to them, you already know them. Get to know the blogger. Dig a little deeper showing them you've done your homework.
- Don't be pushy. Bloggers can do what they want with their blog, so don't tell them what they should do (like talk about your story) or that you can't believe they didn't cover something you pitched to them. Sure, they may give you some publicity for this, but in a negative way.
- It's about having a conversation. Blogging is a mainly personal activity. Most bloggers write as they chat more or less. Do the same. Make it short, sweet, to the point and more casual than a traditional pitch. You will be rewarded.
- Stop asking for a link or a link trade. Instead, ask them to take a look at your material, blog or product. If they like it, you will know about it if you are actively following the blog anyway, so there is no need to chase them.
Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Coaching Mastery, and the founder of Be Heard Solutions. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity. For a free publicity power pack, visit Be Heard Solutions.
December 5, 2009
They say, there's more than one way to skin a cat - and the same hold's true for your group coaching publicity efforts. Many think getting media coverage is a just about news releases but there so much more. Have you thought about having your own newspaper column? It can result in a lot of free visibility that can pay off handsomely for your business.
Unsurprisingly, there are not many things which are honestly free; and if you manage to get a column in your newspaper, you will have to do the work of writing it, as well as producing some content to show to editors as you make the case that you'd be a good fit for the job.
That, by the way, is the first step in pulling off this publicity coup. Simply making the request to the editors that you want a column isn't enough. You have to show them your talent to generate well written articles - ones which the audience will find entertaining or interesting to read.
What should you write about? As they always say, write what you know. Columnists in neighborhood newspapers tend to shine a spotlight on the things which make their city a great place to live or use their expertise to help others locally. So think about how your group coaching program helps others locally and start there.
Even though you don't have to write with a local angle, this sort of content will always find a following. It's best to mix it up and cover neighborhood events as well as news of national and/or international significance to keep your the audience interested.
How do you start? You need to show editors that you are a great choice as a columnist and to do that you need to write some samples. Once you have three very good samples, then craft a cover letter to the managing editor highlighting why your column is needed in their local newspaper.
Also, get more creative. Many regional newspapers are also needing for content for their online versions. Offer to produce a blog or an Internet-based column.
And what's great is that columns are one part of newspapers where injecting your own personality into your writing is acceptable and even welcomed. So you don;t have to worry about a press release format or Associated Press style for these.
But don't make the mistake of using the column as a way to advertise your business. The audience want a interesting story, not a sales pitch and your editors will no doubt reject any column you write which is intended to publicize for your company. What you can sell the audience is yourself: think of yourself as a brand. Your byline can include that you are the owner of a local business, but avoid trying to sell to your readers.
So how will this help your group coaching practice? Your column can confirm you as a trusted source of information, advice and someone who your the audience would feel comfortable doing business with. What you're doing is letting your readers get to know you a little better; and putting a face on your business in this way is some of the best free publicity you could possibly get. It allows your target market to know, like and trust you above the others in your field.
The publicity you'll get will be more than worth the time and effort spent writing your column.
Shannon Cherry is the publicity/media expert for Group Mastery, and the founder of Be Heard Solutions. Known as The Power Publicist, she helps coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants and solo professionals attract more clients and customers through the power of publicity.