A subtle, but important change has taken place in publicity. Instead of trying to promote individuals, businesses, and their products and services, the focus has shifted to making connections with smaller communities, building relationships with their members, and using these networks as a base to promote their goods. Although guerrillas have always focused on such relationships—larger, more mainstream businesses have recently followed suit. And the ways in which these relationships form and grow has changed.
At the forefront of this change is the new media, which disseminates information through blogs, podcasts, social networking sites, and other online means. The new media focuses on reaching communities: groups of people with shared values, interests, and beliefs. These communities are built on trust. Their members regularly read blogs, listen to podcasts, instant messages, visit social network sites, and participate in other online activities.
In order to relate to these people and develop relationships within their communities, you need to be able to take advantage of the new media. Community members are loyal: they follow bloggers’ and podcasters’ advice, attend the events they recommend, try the goods and services they endorse, and adopt the positions they advocate. As Internet marketing expert Penny C. Sansevieri points out, “Consumers don’t buy from ads, they buy from other consumers.”
In the new media, information is distributed by viral marketing. That means that when it is introduced into a community, members comment on it, which causes it to spread from person-to-person and to other communities like a medical virus. Some believe that the new media’s viral marketing makes traditional publicity concepts obsolete. We disagree. Although the impact of these new innovations is great and continues to play an increasing role, publicity is still based on established concepts that have withstood the test of time.
So as you know, publicity is the art of stirring up interest to promote you or your product or service. It’s convincing others to sing your praises, to blare from the rooftops:
» Who you are,
» What you do, and
» Why it’s important.
Publicity will put you on the map because it:
» Builds your identity.
» Increases your visibility.
» Generates name recognition.
» Gets your message across.
» Compels people to buy, invest, and do business with you.
Publicity is the art of putting yourself in the spotlight. As you know, spotlights are narrowly focused—they don’t shine on everyone. To capture the spotlight, place yourself in the proper position; work your way onto center stage.
Positioning is an intricate process that takes time, trial and error, endless patience, and persistence. It’s more than a one or two-shot effort that produces wonders overnight, it’s a coordinated series of actions that require explicit planning, devotion to detail, and endless follow up . . . that’s why they call them publicity campaigns. And in this book, we’ll explain just how they work.
In publicity, rule number one is to blow your own horn, but do it melodically, musically so you don’t scare people away. If you don’t let the world know how great you are, no one else will. And if you don’t assert yourself, those who are more aggressive than you will cut in front of you, block your path, and you’ll end up stuck in the same old place . . . you’ll never get ahead. So toot, toot, toot to everyone you speak with, write or meet. Become a one-person advertising agency. Tell them all who you are, exactly what you have to offer, and precisely how it can benefit them. If the public doesn’t hear about you, your product, or your service, as Barnum pointed out, nothing will happen.
Join publicity expert Jill Lublin as she shares new powerful tips and strategies to shine your light and your message now and no matter what!