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Using Publicity to Your Advantage

Even local efforts can get a boost from national PR.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Q:I'm working with a PR contact, and they have the opportunityfor me to be quoted in a national publication. However, my marketis typically a local market. How can this national publicity helpmy business?

A:First of all, it is a well-known fact that any PR is good PR,unless it is associated with a crime or an obituary. Any nationalPR you receive can always be put to good use in a local market.

If you only do business in a local market, and national exposurewill not necessarily lead to direct sales or awareness unlesssomeone in your local market happens upon the national story, thereare still benefits to be gained. For instance:

  1. A copy of the publication containing your national PR can bepassed around, mailed or generally distributed to clients andprospects. This is another way to "touch" customers andprospects; they typically like to be informed about specialaccomplishments and kept up-to-date on both you and yourcompany.
  2. If the national publication is noteworthy, you can cite"as seen in" on all printed advertising, e-mailsignatures and point-of-purchase marketing. "As seen in Timemagazine" or even The Wall Street Journal can give youtremendous credibility and set you apart from your competition in abig way.
  3. One of the objectives of PR is to become known as an expert.What better way to be deemed an expert than to be published ormentioned in a prominent national publication? Which do you thinkyour prospects would rather choose? One of the 10 people in yourbusiness with average awareness, credibility and exposure orsomeone who's been quoted, published or who has appeared in anational publication as an expert?
  4. With national PR comes the chance that your story will bepicked up by a syndicated service, increasing exponentially thepotential places for publication.
  5. National PR can lead to national interviews on TV, radio and soon. This can be followed up by even more PR about the nationallypublicized interviews; it starts feeding on itself. If itdoesn't automatically come as a result of the originalpublication, you can generate press releases talking about yourpress releases. For example: "XYZ Co., a local provider, wasrecently featured in the national business publication Fortunemagazine. Mr. Smith is available for interviews, on-air appearancesand visits."
  6. National PR can give an air of celebrity status for a localbusiness. Once again, this truly separates you from yourcompetition. Rarely are there two celebrities in the same marketfrom the same business. There is only room for one, and it might aswell be you.
  7. National interviews can be taped and distributed to clients andprospects. These can be offered for sale or as a free incentive toget people to contact you or to send in for more information. Theseleads can then be followed up with sales calls and closed foreventual sales.

These are just a few ways national publicity can aid a localbusiness in a local market. In some cases, it may even give a localbusiness the impetus to consider taking the business to a morenational level or at least investigate the feasibility of aregional business.

Remember, too, this is just one component of your marketingplan. You should be using many, many strategies that work welltogether, offer results and raise awareness.

Alfred J. Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing and PRconsultant, direct-mail promotion specialist, principle ofmarketing consulting firm Marketing Now, and president and owner ofThe Ink Well, a commercial printing and mailing company in Wheaton,Illinois. Visit his Web sites at http://www.market-for-profits.comand http://www.1-800-inkwell.com, ore-mail him at al@market-for-profits.com.


The opinions expressed in this column are thoseof the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended tobe general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areasor circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consultingan appropriate expert, such as an attorney oraccountant.

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