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Public Relations Primer, Part II: Five Dos

1) Package your story. Two critical elements will help you do this: Knowledge and Creativity.

When you use your knowledge of the media to package a story, you:

--Know when and how to call the media

--Know what to send (hint-it's not always a press release)

--Know how individual reporters like to get information

--Think like a reporter

When you use your creativity to package a story, you:

--Devise timely news and angles that get the media's attention

2) Help the reporter (and help yourself). You will get a reporter's attention, and keep their affection, when you are helpful to them. When you contact a reporter, always have three talking points and a key objective. If the reporter asks for any information, such as academic studies or government statistics, cheerfully offer to get it for them. But you don't want to tell too much. Don't offer information on a competitor-you may end up squeezing yourself out of the story.

3) Honor the rules and the process. No matter how much help you provide, the story is still the reporter's, and there are lines in journalism that you as a resource cannot cross:

--If a reporter says they are not interested in your story, don't press

--Do not be offended if the reporter contacts competitors, or gets an alternate point of view

--Do not ask a reporter if you can read the story (they will be offended)

--Do not repeatedly ask a reporter when your story will be published

4) Hustle to get to a reporter before your competitors. In the crowded business environment, a key to getting publicity is that if you recognize a potential story, drop everything and develop a package for a reporter. Your competitors are probably seeing the same thing you are.

5) Leverage your results. The glow of seeing your name in print need not disappear when the next day's newspaper comes out. You can use that story over and over again in your marketing and publicity efforts. Print out the article on your letterhead and send copies to your top customers, to your friends and family. Include it in your standard sales kit. You've been anointed an expert by the media, and this status will help you grow your business.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit or call 212-243-8383.


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