While I’d love to send out a press release proudly proclaiming the fact that my husband ate a vegetable today, I understand this is only newsworthy to me.
And if it’s only newsworthy to me, it ain’t newsworthy.
What do I mean by “newsworthy”?
While some people see it as a subjective term and open to interpretation, in the media world “newsworthy”’ isn’t really all that subjective.
A press release that is newsworthy is simply one that answers affirmatively to the question…
“Is this information timely or significant to anyone besides me and my family and friends?”
If you can’t say ‘yes’ to this question, it’s time to re-think the content and angle of your press release. And if you can’t rework it so it is new or interesting – ditch it. You should be building relationships with reporters and not burning bridges.
So the next time you want to submit a self-serving press release that doesn’t offer any real value to the media outlet’s audience, go take a walk and shake it off.
There’s one thing in life you can truly call your own – with no payments, mortgages, interest or finance charges. Just straight-up yours from the day you’re born.
However, with this gift comes a responsibility. Some people choose to throw it away while others choose to guard it like one of their most valued possessions.
Have you figured out what I’m talking about yet?
It’s your name.
And it’s one of the most important assets you can possess in business. Your name [and its close counterpart, your reputation] can have a tremendous impact on your ability to get a job, a client, a referral – or even a date!
The responsibility that comes with managing your name and reputation is something I don’t take lightly. I never give an employee recommendation for anyone I don’t believe in, and I have never delivered or endorsed a product or service I wouldn’t use myself.
That’s why I’m taken aback when I see marketers who show no obvious regard for their names or reputations.
Let me get to the point. One of the latest trends I’m seeing is marketers ‘selling’ their endorsement [i.e. name and reputation] to the highest bidder on eBay.
These same marketers have lists of tens of thousands of people who, for the most part, trust and respect what they have to say.
They email their throngs of followers and proudly announce, “Buy This Product!” – solely because they have pimped out their name on eBay and not because they think the product will truly help their readers.
Think about it. Their names and reputations are their livelihood. Don’t you think prostituting their names will have an adverse affect on their reputations?
Sure it will. What I can’t understand is how they haven’t figured this out for themselves.
So I ask you…are you managing your reputation?
We teach our employees that our customers have the right to be treated with respect. And they have the right to equal and fair treatment.
And let’s not forget old faithful: The Customer is Always Right.
While these tenets of business should (usually) stand in the name of good customer service, a customer’s rights are really more user-driven.
What I mean by that is, at the basic level, your customers are in charge of their own rights.
Your customers have the right to:
1) Pay no attention to you if your messages are irrelevant
2) Dislike or distrust you if you try to manipulate or lie to them
3) Choose someone else instead of you to provide a similar product or service
Don’t give your customers a reason to execute their rights.
The best kind of publicity is free publicity. It can increase your credibility, visibility and ultimately, sales.
Papa John’s, arguably the scrappiest of the top three pizza chains, sponsored a rather creative publicity promotion this past Super Bowl Sunday.
Other pizza chains – namely Domino’s and Pizza Hut – opted to introduce new products on the biggest pizza-delivery night of the year. While no self-respecting media outlet covers a mere menu addition, they do, however, cover promotions like this:
If the opening kick-off in Super Bowl XLIII is returned for a touchdown, customers get a large pizza for 25 cents.
This promotion was great on several levels.
1) It was covered by both national and regional news outlets as a news story. Papa John’s essentially got a free “commercial” during primetime news.
2) Their offer had a high potential return with minimal risk. I’m told the insurance policy on the promotion was less than $10,000.
3) The promotion was tied to the outcome of one of the most watched television programs of the year.
4) They made good use of social media. Former Green Bay Packer Desmond Howard, who holds the record for longest kickoff returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl history, invited consumers via a video posted on YouTube to register for a chance to win a 25 cent pizza. I’m sure the promotion would have had even better results had they used a Chicago Bear (personal bias )
4) Customers had to “pre-register” in order to be eligible for the offer. In other words, Papa John’s collected names, addresses, phone numbers and birthdates of potential customers. That’s the only way you could be eligible for the offer.
And you know what they’re going to do with those?
That’s right. They can market to this warm list over and over and over again.
Papa John’s got Super Bowl coverage without paying a Super Bowl price.
How can you incorporate a similar publicity tactic in your business?
I don’t usually watch television in the morning. But my husband is a real news junkie and he would have it on 24/7 if I didn’t threaten that my head would explode. He compromises because I’m guessing he doesn’t want to clean up the mess.
This morning was one of those compromises. We settled on The Today Show (instead of CNN or MSNBC) as I was running around getting ready to start the fun part of my day – yes, work!
Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales were chatting about an upcoming segment concerning starting a business in today’s economy. They asked each other if any of them had ever considered starting their own business. Each one chimed in with an immediate and resounding “NO!” I was stunned.
I can’t remember a moment in my life when I didn’t want to run my own business. Maybe it’s because I grew up with parents who were small business owners. Maybe it’s because I don’t like playing the games in business. Maybe it’s just in my DNA.
What I do know is that I love being an entrepreneur. The whole ‘the buck stops here’ mentality and all that. When things go well, you can put systems in place so you can repeat your success. When things go wrong, you can figure out why and fix it.
No finger pointing, no credit stealing, no sabotaging.
You do it until it gets done – right.
We all have our ‘reasons why’. You just need to make sure your ‘reason why’ is sustainable.