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So you're in the media, darling. Now what?

07 March 2011

Congratulations, your DIY publicity efforts are paying off. You've been interviewed by a national newspaper. A talkback radio show wants your opinion. And a regular eNewsletter wants you to submit a regular column.

The trick now is to leverage your media success to benefit your business. This is where you turn your publicity into public relations and use it to attract new clients - and also remind current ones why they love working with you.

Leveraging your media coverage with your existing customers

Have you ever been in a restaurant and, as you approached the counter, you noticed a framed clip from a magazine in which the restaurant has appeared because its expertise or services? It's always impressive. Even if you're a regular visitor to the restaurant, it's a nice 'reminder' that they are skilled, talented and worthy of your business...or whatever other positive thoughts you associate with the media coverage.

The article may also feature a service you did not know the restaurant offered, like meeting catering. This may help \"upsell\" you into a service that you didn't even realise you needed, until you walked in the door!

This is just one way in which media coverage can be leveraged to enhance your profile and credibility among your existing client base. You may come up with more on your own, but here are a few good ways to get started making \"positive noise\" with your media coverage so that clients want to continue using your services - and recommend you to others.

Send a mailer to your database touting the coverage. I saw an example of this recently where a homeowners insurance company mailed a postcard to its clients mentioning that a very high profile magazine ranked them THE best. Any need to look around for a new insurance company when you are already with the best? No.

For coverage in magazines, enlarge and frame your clips to hang in your office, store, showroom, etc. Or you can simply frame the magazine covers, which also looks very impressive.

Email your clients or database about upcoming media coverage so they can watch your appearance 'live' on TV, or know what newspaper or magazine to pick up.

Use your coverage to entice clients to come see you, thus making you some 'found' money. For example, make an offer in which anyone who brings in a clip of your recent media coverage gets a discount on your products or services for a limited time.

Leveraging your media coverage to attract new clients

Microsoft's first version of its Xbox gaming console sold out within 24 hours of being available in stores, and had an awareness rate among consumers around 88% percent two weeks before launch, and prior to the start of any advertising. And this was also before the use of social media as we know it today. The results were achieved almost exclusively through media relations.

Now, Microsoft may have planned its PR campaign around a major launch of a new product, with national distribution and months of planning, but the same 'phenomenon' of reaching clients and generating sales through public relations can easily be replicated on whatever scale fits your business. Here are some tips:

Firstly, simply let the media coverage do the job of leverage for you, as it instantly drives new clients to you because they saw, read or heard about your book, product or service.

Send out a mailer or email highlighting your press coverage to prospective clients, as well as to your own list, to convert those merely following you to purchasing. The credibility the media coverage offers may be just the incentive - or reminder - that they need to buy. And, no matter how well YOU promote your company to target clients, having the media do it for you gives it that much more impact.

Highlight your media results on your website. Now, when people visit your site, or someone new finds you through an Internet search, you are no longer a 'generic' business - you have the (implicit) endorsement of the press that you are among the best in your industry!

Use social media: Tweet links of your media success to your followers, share it with your Facebook friends and leave a Linked In update.

Finally, you just never know what other opportunities, deals or partnerships may be leveraged through the mere act of 'being seen' in the media. Like Justin Herald whose appearance on 'A Current Affair' led to hundreds of calls from retailers wanting to stock his Attitude clothing line. Retailers who only months before had refused to return his calls!

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