The Essential Features Of A Successful Media Publicity Strategy
Media publicity is not terribly difficult – in theory. In practice it is incredibly complex and nuanced, which is why their is now entire industry built around it. As I have explained previously, there is a vast difference between media publicity and public relations. While both attempt to influence awareness, understanding and perception, they serve a different purpose and require vastly different approaches. In it’s simplest form, a media publicity campaign is about getting your brand, product or service in front of potential customers. It has always been my experience that while many clients talk about wanting ‘public relations’, what they really want is to see their name in the paper (for doing good things). Public relations on the other hand is largely concerned with managing the perceptions of complex publics, of which media is just one. While entire books have been written on public relations theory, very few writers have definitively addressed effective publicity strategies. Over many years of developing, refining and implementing effective strategies I have learnt that the only three things that matter are your Content, Contacts and Cadence. To keep the alliterative theme going, it is the what, the who and when. Content (What) Your content is your story and is the starting point for any publicity strategy. Without an engaging story, your contacts and cadence are irrelevant. Developing a strong narrative (or narrative series) is where you need to invest the greatest amount of time and resources. Unfortunately it is more art than science, which is why developing a good narrative is largely intuitive and takes many years of experience to do effectively. In a newsroom it’s called ‘news sense’, in the content marketing space it is called ‘story telling’, we call them opportunities. The key to developing great opportunities for publicity is to take yourself out of the story and concentrate on the needs of your audience. Simply stacking up your marketing messages into a pile is not creating a story, that is advertising. Ask yourself some simple questions:
- Why is this story interesting?
- What value is there for the audience?
- Is it ‘news’ or ‘marketing’?
- Who does this impact?