Getting publicity – work your contacts

Live History imageOne of our tourism clients, Live History, has achieved some valuable media coverage lately – with absolutely no help from us!

These guys are excellent at working their contacts – identifying and taking opportunities as they arise – and not giving up.

There’s good advice here for all small businesses. Here’s what happened in their own words:

“It was one of those serendipitous things. We were outside the Cascade Brewery [in Hobart] a year or two ago, when the editor of Forty Degrees South appeared with his camera doing a shoot for an advert. He took one look at us in our costumes and asked us if we’d like to be in the ad. Well, we normally get paid to be in ads but we thought why not? Good exposure.

“He then gave us his card and told us to contact him about an article in his publication. I had to work him like mad and keep onto him, but we eventually got the article.

“He wanted to take his own photos but always seemed unable to come when we had a tour group going out. Eventually I sent him my CD of top quality photos (taken as a favour by a photographer friend of ours), which he went with for the article.

“It has already brought us several clients – and it’s the sort of publication that is around for many months (unlike a daily paper).

“We were also in an edition of The Wanderer (a publication produced by the Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia), which has brought us many clients. This happened because we took the director and his wife out on a tour the summer before last.

“We always have a debrief after a tour to find out where our guests heard about us etc. When I discovered that he was the director of a motorhome club that had a magazine, I suggested an article. He said he had no writing skills, but I said that I had! I ghost-wrote the article for him and again sent photos. The result was a great article in their magazine.

“I guess it’s about being inquisitive, confident and proactive – always on the lookout for opportunities to self-promote creatively.”

Now it isn’t every business that happens to have journalists bumping into them in the street or walking into their store – but the message is to remain open to possibility. You can invite journalists to experience what your business has to offer, and then work with them to create opportunities.

You will also often find that organisations connected to your business have publications, newsletters or websites that publish articles and news – if you’re not sure, ask them.

And finally, don’t underestimate the power of photographs. It was the photos that got Live History the first article, and no doubt they were a deciding factor in the second. Providing good quality images saves journalists’ time and outlay, and helps to ensure you project the image you want.