By Eileen W. Teague
Don't think of pr as shame-less self-promotion. Think of it as simply smart business practice. If you don't put your company's name in the limelight, who will? Get double the bang for your publicity buck with marketing consultant Joan Stewart's tips for recycling PR.
"Climbing the media ladder is a great place to start for people who have never had any publicity," says Stewart, whose monthly newsletter, The Publicity Hound, is packed with ideas for getting noticed. "If you've never had a newspaper write about you, don't start by trying to get a front-page story in TheWall Street Journal. The best place to start is at the very bottom rung of the media ladder. Try to get your alumni magazine or a special-interest publication in your community to write an article about your business.
"Once you've gotten a special-interest publication to write about your business, take a copy of that story, attach it to a query letter and send it to an editor at the next-highest rung of the ladder--your local weekly newspaper. Once you've gotten the weekly to write about you, clip out that story and send it along with a query letter to the editor of your local daily newspaper. Keep climbing that ladder until you get to the top.
"Anytime you get a publication to write about you, always have reprints made of the article. You can use those reprints in a variety of ways. Include them along with proposals you're making to potential clients. Take them to trade shows. If you have a retail establishment, put them on your counter where customers can see them. Placing the articles in your media kit helps establish your credibility."
For a sample copy of The Publicity Hound, send a $5 check payable to The Publicity Hound to Joan Stewart, 3930 Highway O, Saukville, WI 53080.