What publicity means for your business in 2021
When you think about publicity, what springs to mind?
Do you think of the mainstream media? Newspapers, magazine, websites, radio and TV stations?
Is it about social media, so networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or TikTok?
Perhaps it’s about being featured on other websites owned by people who are an authority in your area or an influencer?
What is certain is that publicity has changed massively over the last 20 years since I started out as a journalist.
In this episode, along with May King Tsang, a FOMO creator and social media expert, we explore the many different types of publicity we can enjoy today.
You can listen to this episode on the player link below or continue reading as a blog post.
How publicity has evolved in the last 20 years
Before social media, if you wanted your brand to reach hundreds, thousands or millions of new people, the traditional media was the best route.
If you have the budget, you could hire a PR agency to get your business in front of editors and journalists.
Or you could try to do it yourself, but it would take a lot of work and research, and it would often be down to luck.
Now, with social media, you can publish instantly and have the potential to reach people around the world.
We are all publishers. And business owners can publish material about how they help people themselves – all you need is a website.
Journalists are more accessible too
Even 15 years ago the only way to reach a journalist was by phone, e mail or in person.
Now, every day, journalists talk openly about what they’re working on on social media. They ask for experts and people who are willing to share personal experiences.
And reporters search on social media platforms for stories, so if you have a powerful story that is gathering pace on social media, there is a chance it will be picked up.
What does this mean for small businesses?
For the savvy entrepreneur, knowing where to find journalists and give them what they want can lead to a goldmine of opportunity.
But it’s not just journalists who can give you publicity. Anyone who has access to people who might be willing to invest in your product or service can give you a platform.
May King says we need to be continually creating our own publicity
“People are watching what you create and I often talk about creating content for the lurkers,” she explains.
“These are the people who are following what you do, and at some point you’ll say something that will take them from being a lurker to an inquiry to a potential client.
“Every time you’re having a conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, someone is watching. It might take a week to convert, it might be 18 months.
“Try to see each post as an opportunity to have a conversation.”
One of the most powerful publicity tools is a simple ‘thank you’
Not only does it allow you to show appreciation and come across as a friendly, approachable and polite person.
The person you thank is also going to share it with their network creating a ripple effect.
May King used a recent example of a post I shared with her about two of my members who attended her talk securing publicity from one of her tips.
You can read the conversation on LinkedIn here.
She explains: “You tagging me on LinkedIn means your post is seen by my connections.
“We’ll have a few mutual connections on LinkedIn, but my audience is wider than the pet business industry.
“And when I comment on that post all my connections are potentially seeing your post. So you’re reaching a wider audience of people who can refer and recommend you.”
Being seen on other people’s platforms and at events can open up opportunities
Podcasts, guest blogs, Facebook and Instagram lives and virtual and face to face events all serve as auditions.
May King explains: “I’ve created FOMO at events like ATOMICON for Andrew and Pete and that led to other people booking me from what they’d seen.
“I’ve had bookings from podcast interviews and from my own social media posts, just as much as I have had from people who might have seen me talk about my old business on the BBC.”
Being seen in mainstream titles can lead to huge peaks in sales
Impulse buys such as slimming products can see sales soar thanks to a mention on sites like Mail Online.
But for a small business, being on a niche blog or being referred in a Facebook group can bring a steady stream of new clients.
For example, being in a local magazine helped dog walker Jude from Parklife Honiton attract lots more clients.
May King says social media can help ensure you’re the name that comes up over and over again
She explains: “In order for people to buy your product or service, it’s not enough to write one social media post saying, ‘hey, buy my stuff – it’s amazing.’
“People need to get to know you. Are you the real deal? Do you really know what you’re talking about?
“Are you the person who can solve their problem? Use social media to share the social proof that yes, you can, let the lurkers see it so they can tell people about you too.”
Blending social media with the huge reach traditional publicity can give means small businesses have never had it better
May King said: “As a small business, you have so much power. You are your own TV station, radio station, newspaper or magazine, and you can decide what to show your audience.
“It’s never been a more exciting time to stand out, create FOMO about what you do, so people can’t help but pick up the phone and say, ‘I want some of what you have to offer.’”
May King helps small business owners create a buzz about their brands with a range fo packages from live video interviews to consultancy and coaching.
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Hi, I’m Rachel, a freelance journalist and PR and content consultant and crazy dog lady!
I’ve written so many stories about animals and pet brands that I wrote a book on how pet entrepreneurs can do their own PR.
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