Welcome to the January Newsletter

This month:

Making the most of post-Christmas lulls
The 15-minute trap:
Include online publicity in your plan
Focus on your audience
Publicity for authors
Hidden Jewel entries now open

Making the Most of Post-Christmas Lulls

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to get publicity for your business?

Right now is a great time to be putting out press releases to the news media. It’s a traditionally quiet period for the press, when Parliament is in recess, and journalists are hunting for stories.

Give them something refreshing and forward-looking, perhaps tapping into reports on trends for 2008 that are relevant for your business. And don’t forget to include sharp, visually compelling images that tell the story simply.


The 15-Minute Trap

It’s easy to fall into the 15-minute trap – gaining publicity, with all the thrill that goes along with it – only for the story to be forgotten as soon as the paper gets recycled or the TV show is over.

You got your 15 minutes of fame, but nothing came of it.

The following 2 tips will help you to avoid falling into the 15-minute trap.

Tip 1: Include Online Publicity in Your Plan

Being featured in a magazine or on TV is a significant step for any small business. But remember that 15 minutes of fame won’t necessarily bring the results you’re looking for.

Publicising your business online is becoming increasingly important, as newspaper sales drop and viewers turn their attention from TV to the net. But shifting trends aren’t the only reason to publicise online. Your message also has a chance to spread virally, and the ‘shelf life’ of the story is much longer.

Online publications, blogs and news sites are all important outlets for your story. Here are some tips on connecting with bloggers.

An additional option is to use a newswire service such as PRWeb, who will distribute your release for you to all the major online news outlets.

Make sure your release is optimised with relevant keywords to aid search, and post the release on your website too.
Finally, if you do get a feature in a magazine, or a slot on a TV or radio show, make sure you write a blog post about it with a link to the publication (get a pdf if it doesn’t appear on their website), or to a podcast or video of your slot.

This will keep the story alive for much longer than 15 minutes!

Tip 2: Focus on Your Audience

Defining your audience is vital for campaign success. If you have a great message and get lots of publicity, that’s wonderful, but if your target audience doesn’t read or hear it, you’ve wasted a lot of energy.

As well as defining the demographic of your target customers, think about where they are likely to be when they engage with your message.

For example, when they’re reading an inflight magazine, they’re likely to be thinking about what they’ll be doing with their time when they arrive at their destination. If you have a tourism, hospitality or retail business in a popular travel destination, target publications available en route.

What about leisure pursuits? Are your prospects likely to belong to golf or sailing clubs? Do you offer similarly high-end leisure experiences, products or services? Consider a sponsorship arrangement that gives you access to the newsletters of selected sports or leisure clubs.

This blog post explains why your focus has to be on your audience rather than your media profile.

If you start by thinking about where your audience is and what they’re likely to be reading or watching when they are most open to receiving your message, you’re on the right track.


Publicity for Authors

Are you, or do you know, a self-published author who needs publicity?

Journalist and PR consultant, Linda Burgess-Parkes, who works regularly with PublicityShip, offers publicity for authors as one of her specialties.

This is a unique marketing area that requires careful handling. Authors who come to PublicityShip for help will be placed safely under Linda’s wing.


Hidden Jewel Entries Now Open

Everyone who has registered interest in the OM4Tourism Hidden Jewel Awards for small tourism businesses has now received information on how to enter.

Entries can be submitted any time until 29 February 2008, so there’s still plenty of time to register.

Simply go to our Hidden Jewel page and fill out the form.