Mind Your Business: 11 Steps to Get Publicity
Free advertising. Sound good? Great. That’s what publicity is.
Every time you are mentioned in a paper, book or magazine or appear on the radio or on TV, that promotion equals advertising for you and what you do.
Think about the value of buying a full-page ad in a newspaper. Depending on the circulation of a paper, the median cost for an interior, full-page, B&W ad may be worth anywhere from around $5,000 to $23,000. If you pitch a great story, which allows you to promote what you do, you may get a full-page article. That article acts like an ad promoting whatever you spoke about and it didn’t cost you anything but the time and effort it took to land the promotion.
Years ago I was on Good Morning Orlando, on the local Fox affiliate. They ran a piece about me in about six segments, adding up to over 14 minutes of screen time. That’s the same as 28 thirty-second commercials. What’s the value in that? Tens of thousands of dollars.
The trick to getting publicity is to find a story, or a hook, about what your subject and pitch that story without it sounding like you are just promoting yourself. I’ve done this a lot over the years. I’ve been on covers of national papers, on major networks, dozens or radio shows and more. The publicity has led to clients, deals and even a contract for one of my TV shows.
Years ago Kidscreen Magazine ran an article about my series Timmy’s Lessons In Nature. Joel Andryc, what was an executive at Fox Family at the time, saw the article and was intrigued by our character. He flew to Orlando and offered us a deal for the series.
You can do it too. I’ve outlined the steps to help you get more publicity.
11 Steps to Getting Free Publicity
1. What’s the story?
Look at what you’re doing and find a story around it that will be of interest to the viewers/listeners of the media you are targeting. Not every idea works for every media.
Example: Fox Networks’ Good Morning Orlando looks for great visuals about local events. I pitched a piece about a national animation I was producing locally for a large national project using motion capture technology.
2. Do you have a hook?
What’s the main element of your story that will catch their attention and the attention of their viewers/listeners.
The hook for the Fox pitch above was to suggest putting the reporter into the mocap suit, so he could animate a character live. That landed me 14 minutes of segments on Fox.
3. Include great art
Most media, except for radio, are visual mediums. They are always looking for great visuals, which they use to promote and fill their media.
What’s better than real-time animation and a guy in a crazy electronic outfit?