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Power PR Tips to Capture That Big Buzz

Mar 2, 2008
It's coming -- the 35th anniversary of the Ski Foundation. And just like many small business owners, organizers of the 3-day event with cross-country ski races for all ages and fitness levels are counting on mass publicity to capture a cascade of last-minute registrations. They have a great hook -- 35 years of inspiring skiers to live fit, healthy lives -- and more than 9,000 skiers for media to interview.

You'd think it would be easy to get TV, print, web and radio on board to cover the plethora of human interest stories, the mass gathering of skiers from every state in the US plus 30 countries, the Skiers for Cures program, the challenge of training for a long-distance event, and on and on.

Sometimes it is easy -- if you put in the time, energy and imagination to make it happen.

Last night the Weather Channel highlighted the Birkie, gave the forecast in Hayward, Wisconsin, and encouraged viewers to be part of it.

Earlier this week the St. Paul Pioneer Press did a feature on two brothers who will relive their Norwegian heritage by skiing as 13th century warrior-heroes in Saturday's Birkebeiner race.

And radio stations around the country are interviewing super fit Birkie skiers, couch potatoes with the goal of completing their first long-distance ski marathon, and everyone in between.

All small business owners can apply the lessons of this boot-strapping publicity campaign to reach thousands, or even millions, of customers and prospects. Whether you're media savvy or a small business owner with little media experience, put on your true blue Guerrilla Marketer's hat and use time, energy and imagination to get your name in the news. Here are a few quick tips to capture that big buzz:

1. When a reporter contacts you, return their call or email promptly. If you don't, they'll likely move on to someone else in order to meet their deadline. Anticipate what they want. Have a list of story ideas ready along with a list of contacts to bolster your pitch.

2. Develop key messages that will inspire your intended audience to action. Getting free publicity is for naught if you don't inspire action. Focus on a few keys points and make them with clarity. Tell your audience what you want them to do.

3. When you're on television, convey your energy and enthusiasm. Be mindful of body language, keep your feet and legs firmly planted, and use your torso and hands to deliver your message. Smile to show the audience that you're excited and to keep your energy high.

4. When you're on the radio, paint a picture. Help the listener visualize whatever it is you're selling. Pace yourself. If you stutter, forget about it and move on. Even though they'll never see you, smile to keep your energy and excitement high.

5. Know what you want to say and stick to it. Whether you are interacting with print, web, TV or radio media, stick to just three key messages and deliver them over and over again, along with your call to action, phone number and website.

6. Always be a resource. Find out what other topics your media contact may be covering in the future. Let him/her know your area of expertise and how they can count on you.

Whether you're launching an event, publicizing your upcoming book, or trying to create a buzz about a new product or service, be strategic. Develop a long-range, comprehensive plan, and get out in a big, systematic way. Those visions of free publicity and a spike in sales really can come true.
About the Author
Certified Marketing Spitfire Leslie Hamp is the creator of Business Boost In A Box. To learn more about the step-by-step program, and to sign up for your *FREE* Marketing Mastery Success Kit, visit www.boostyourbottomline.com
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