Greg Simpson, founder of Press for Attention PR and Enterprise Nation Champion for Nottingham, offers some sound marketing advice.
I wonder how many people reading this truly understand the full power of positioning and how PR plays a vital role in that. You see, what I do, in fact, what I really LOVE to do, is to help people get known for what they know. I help them leverage their expertise on their subject to get them into the press.
It is very rare that I will do a simple ‘New widget for ACME Ltd’ story, although they can and do work. What I try to do is to get the info and advice out of my clients’ heads and into their target media i.e. where their customers might see them.
I do this because I know it generates high quality editorial coverage for them and helps to elevate their profile, but I also prefer this tactic as contrary to a lot of folk in the publicity game I’m playing long-term. It is also my preferred tactic because you and your client go from PUSHING sales messages to PULLING in leads via an info-first marketing approach.
You see, I want my client to be asked for comment again and again on their subject. In fact, I want them to become the DEFAULT commentator on their niche, the go-to-guy or girl. You get to this stage by constantly seeking to ADD VALUE or your ‘two penneth’ to the debate that you and customers care about.
By becoming a trusted and reliable expert you can elevate your offering from that of marketer of your stuff to the holy grail of PR folk like me, the trusted adviser, the authority. You can do this too by changing your thinking ever so slightly.
Rather than thinking “how can I get this sales message across via the media” think more along the lines of “wow, the readers of Widgets Weekly would love to better UNDERSTAND this and I can help them.”
You are being USEFUL, not noisy. Journalists love this and they will love you. This is the key difference when it comes to getting PR and media relations right. You don’t, or you shouldn’t, want to be famous just for being famous. There IS such a thing as bad publicity, just ask Gerald Ratner. The publicity you want is to get known for what you know and become the expert.
From here, not only is your profile a great deal higher but it means you can differentiate yourself from your rivals. Sure, they can run offers and discounts to get market share but that is a losing game.
Now, I’ve had a few people say to me “oh that works for consultants Greg but not for me, we make X or sell Y.” Nonsense. It works for everyone, especially in the age of niche media and 24/7 news.
Consider a butcher. As a reporter I might write about a new shop opening but after that, we’re struggling – UNLESS that butcher is happy to share advice on how to cook the perfect steak, why punters are eating ostrich this summer or the trend for goose over turkey this Christmas.
It’s Bank Holiday and BBQ season again. If I was working with a butcher as a client, I’d have them preparing recipes for sauces, how-to guides for the perfect flame and heat, best fuel, top tips on pairing drinks or how to select the choicest cut for your party. That butcher could do all of this within the confines of their own media, website, blogs, social media channels etc or they could be brave and offer to give a demo on live TV or maybe pop into the local radio station to explain how they as an EXPERT would cater for a BBQ.
Why bother with all this? You stop competing on price. Bottom line, you can charge more because you are the GURU. Everyone knows that.
Caveat here…when I say EVERYONE, I don’t really mean everyone, I mean everyone that matters to you and your bottom line. Your prospects and customers, be they local, sector specific or niche.