Relevance in Marketing Advice from the Queen of Publicity

by TedV

Doesn’t free publicity sound good?
Yes, but isn’t it hard to accomplish?
It can be, but would you like to know two great secrets to PR success?

The definitive book on Publicity for small businesses is Marcia Yudkin’s
6 Steps to Free Publicity. At least that’s my opinion, and thousands upon thousands of small business owners and marketers agree with me. Though some won’t admit it, Marcia’s book sits on the shelves of many PR professionals in larger organizations.

Each Wednesday morning her “Marketing Minute” email arrives in my inbox and I read it with relish, and yes, it takes only a minute out of my day.

The issue for June 10, 2009, entitled “Become Relevant to Niches,” reports on the publicity success of an expert on helping people get organized. The success is notable because Standolyn Robertson was written up in Backpacker Magazine.

That’s not where I’d expect such a write up. Therefore, if you’d ask me what she discussed in that periodical, I’d guess something like, “How to load your pack more efficiently?”

Well, of course I would be wrong. In the article Robertson discussed being more organized at work, which makes it easier to get to the hiking trail that much sooner. Unlike my first thoughts on her message, she used a Relevance in Marketing approach.

Yes, Robertson’s article subject was logical – unlike my first thought.

Backpacker Magazine has an annual circulation of 2.79 million and an average reader income of over $70,000.00 a year. With that income level wouldn’t you guess there are a number of readers with the wherewithal and desire to pay to be more organized? And how many readers work in corporate situations where such skills are also attractive?

So, just how did Robertson catch the attention of this publication?

It was the organizing expert’s press release, a relevant message targeted specifically to Backpacker Magazine, that encouraged the editors to pursue the story.

Traditionally it has for the most part been standard operating procedure to write one press release and be done with it. The World Wide Web makes it easier to broadcast your release if you do just that. There are free and fee press release websites with a variety of offerings to get your good word out.

Relevance Sells’ Prescription for Effective Publicity

First – Buy Marcia Yudkin’s 6 Steps to Free Publicity, read it, and put her techniques into action. It has been recently re-released, it’s third addition. The 287-page paperback book costs just $15.99. Go to her site to acquire an autographed copy: www.yudkin.com/6steps.htm. (I’ve not monetized this blog yet, so I make nothing for the endorsement.)

Second – After you prepare a standard press release for the usual suspects, think about a variation on what I call the Targeting Factor. In other words, think about the people and companies that make up your ideal prospects list.  Then think about the types of publications they read, but they would never expect to see you there. Those pubs are where you want to appear.

An Example

You manufacture custom plastic parts for the electronics industry, and so do hundreds, probably thousands of other companies approaching your prospects. You just invested in a new machine to make parts faster, better, and at a lower cost. Send out your regular press release to your usual outlets. And please don’t make the release all about your new machine. Use Relevance!  Talk about how your clients will benefit at the very least, if not write a completely Relevant Message.

Now do something different.

Write a special release for Green At Work magazine because your new machine is much more energy efficient. Create another one for the publication BioCycle, and focus on how much waste you reduced and the fact that you use recycled materials.

In another direction, it took me all of 45 seconds searching to find the names of over 30 safety magazines. Write a Relevant release for them about how you’ve improved worker safety because of the new machine.

I’m no expert on PR, so I’m not claiming these examples are all that clever, but this is very innovative compared to a number of press releases I’ve seen.

And in all of this, emphasize that you are a small business trying to do you part. Get the David and Goliath Factor working for you.

Yudkin wrote that Backpacker Magazine is not the only unusual source of publicity for Robertson: “Intrigued by this unexpected matchup, I asked Standolyn if she’d received other surprising publicity mentions, and she said she’s given interviews on some aspect of organizing to publications for dieters, single fathers, radio broadcasters, the inventory industry, and job-hunting engineers.”

Publicity can take you where no amount of paid advertising will go. And the best kind is free publicity.

But in this over hyped world, a Relevant Message in a press release stands the best chance of working for you.

Once again, here’s the link to acquire an autographed copy of 6 Steps to Free Publicity: www.yudkin.com/6steps.htm.

And here’s the link to sign up for Marcia Yudkin Marketing Minute newsletter: www.yudkin.com/markmin.htm.

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