Neil F. Anderson, Founder/President, The Courage Group, Inc.

Want to increase the awareness of your company’s products or services? Want to boost your own credibility in the eyes of your potential clients or customers? And equally as important, want to increase sales and your chances of business survival? But have no money for traditional advertising?

The answer, publicity.

Getting free publicity has helped many new entrepreneurs and small business owners (especially this one) get on the "radar screen" with the media. And in turn, gets you and your company’s products/services in front of a vital audience, potential sales prospects.

Getting free publicity makes the cash register ring and allows business owners to continue building their dream vs. business failure. And prevent having to go back and work for someone else again.

It is especially crucial for the new entrepreneur, right at day one and beyond. Generally, most entrepreneurs don’t have any monies for traditional advertising. But they still need to let people know, somehow, that their company exists. In short, people need to know about you before they can buy from you.

Going after and getting free publicity is one of the best, most cost-effective marketing strategies to get the word out. However, getting free publicity is hard work, takes time, and much effort on your part. But speaking from personal experience, is very well worth the effort.

What Is Publicity?

Simply put, publicity is about publicizing a subject, creating attention and getting noticed. It means getting free stories and news about you and your business in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. It also means getting exposure without paying for it. The big difference between advertising and publicity-advertising is paid for, publicity is free.

Key Publicity Benefits:

  • Builds your company identity
  • Creates credibility – people believe information reported as news
  • Positions you as an expert
  • Establishes product or service benefits
  • Creates name recognition
  • Helps you rise above competition
  • Helps form strategic alliances/partnerships
  • More cost effective vs. paid advertising
  • Helps boost sales

What Is The Media Really Looking For?

When I first started my own company in 2001, I attended a workshop in Chicago on publicity and the media. Featuring panelists from The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun Times and other media outlets. I picked up some very valuable but harsh truths, which helped me and can help you, as you go out and seek your own free publicity.

Here is the big secret – the media is only looking for one thing and one thing only. A newsworthy story, period.

Unless you can give them this, publicity will remain elusive. Further, the media does not really care about you or your company. Again, the media is only looking for an interesting, newsworthy story for their viewers, readers or listeners. However, this is where many business owners trip up. They "pitch" the media on how great they are and/or how great their company’s products or services are.

In Part II of Why Publicity Matters, I will write about:

  1. Best publicity strategy
  2. Writing a news release
  3. Sending your news release