Paying people to hold signs is one of the oldest forms of advertising, as with this Human billboard pictured above (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you included advertising in broadcast media and print publications in your promotional budget? Probably not is the answer for many of us. Advertising can be very expensive. But media promotion can also be free or at least relatively cheap.
Larger businesses and organizations and celebrities have public relations departments or agents who are responsible for getting word out to the media. Most of us can't afford this, but that doesn't mean we aren't newsworthy.
If you have a product that you want people to know about then you should try to find some way to make it newsworthy. Start by assembling a press kit. Include photos and print stories that can be dispersed to media outlets. Include anything that makes what you have to offer stand out. Provide testimonials from customers or other media sources. Personalize the story of your product by relating your own story.
Look for every angle that makes you and your product of interest to the public.
Once you have your product and your story developed, look for ways to tell the world about it. Shoot for big targets, but don't overlook the small ones. Many publications will print free announcements for upcoming community events. If you have an appearance scheduled, make sure you let the local paper know about it.
Get to know contacts in the media who will help you get noticed by guiding you through the proper channels. Did you know that many communities have public access television stations that have talk shows that feature local people and businesses? Their audiences are usually small, but it's a great way to get practice before the cameras so that you'll be ready when your big break comes. And you never know who will be watching and what breaks can come from a local appearance.
Offer to write a column or feature article for a local paper or a specialized magazine. You will probably be working for free, but consider the work you put into this as a vehicle for advertising yourself. Your name is your brand and your brand gives your product credibility. Do whatever seems to make sense in getting yourself and your product known.
And don't forget the vast array of internet options that we have within easy reach. Most of you who are writers are probably thinking in terms of establishing your platform through blogging and social media. These are grand ways to advertise yourself at little or no cost. But don't just stop there. Make appearances whenever possible on other people's blogs or internet radio. If you have content to provide. look for sources that are looking for that content and can provide you a forum to get your message out.
The topic of media presence is huge--much too big to be covered in a short blog post. There are many books on the topic. If you are about to embark on a media campaign or have found your past efforts to be unsuccessful, read up on the topic. There are also some excellent blogs and websites devoted to this topic. Do the research and talk to people who have experience, but most of all get out there and do something.
Media matters to a marketing campaign, but you have to reach out to the media and let your voice be heard. Then, once you've gotten noticed and made the big time, you can get your PR department to take care of things.
For the letter 'M' I've chosen two candidates:
Madeline Mora-Summonte at The Shellshank Redemption is having a Motivational Month of April during the A to Z Challenge. Be sure to stop by. As I write this she's almost at 100 followers--maybe we can break through that number today.
Nicole Ayers at Madlab Post has been a frequent guest on this site as well as on the A to Z Blog . She is a frequent quality commenter on many of our sites.
You Asked For It!
M also stands for Marcus Clearspring who created the popular A to Z Navigation Buttons for last year's Challenge. He's done it again. For those of you who are interested in adding the buttons to your site visit Marcus's site Writing Investigated.
If you don't want to add the buttons to your site or would just like to test them out, there is a special site for the badges at http://a-z.marcusclearspring.com/