How to Propel Your New Business with Publicity
There’s ONE thing that propels most startups and early stage businesses. What is it? Publicity-PR! It’s the one common theme that runs through the history of all great companies. If you want to get your company on the radar then put PR in your plan.
As a publicist I’ve known this for years. I’ve seen media exposure launch everything from new medical procedures to special events and inventions. Why does it work? It works because PR is the bridge that connects large audiences with a single person with your idea. How do you get it? You can do it yourself up to a point or allocate some money for a publicist.
That’s because having idea is not enough to produce success. Your idea must be shared with consumers, buyers, producers, manufacturers, readers, patients, literary critics – whomever is the desired audience. Most successful entrepreneurs use publicity as a tool to reach select audiences that represent the niche market that would be interested in their particular product, service or Big Idea. Not all were natural publicists, by any means. Most struggled through trial and error, enduring many failures and disappointments before discovering that PR was the key necessary strategic tool. Thus, some took longer than necessary to achieve their dreams because they lacked PR skills and had to acquire them through experimentation, which is difficult and time-consuming. And so everyone with a Big Idea faces a choice – be a self-publicist and delay success or hire a PR firm to achieve your dream much more quickly.
As founder and president of Westwind Communications, I have helped many clients with numerous ideas to help them achieve the American Dream. One inventor had a handy tool-organizing product for the garage or to store mops, brooms and dusters in closets. We organized a publicity campaign that included a New York Times feature article which ultimately resulted in the product being placed in several large retail outlets.
Before laser eye surgery became popular in the U.S. I conducted a publicity campaign for a laser surgeon in Canada to convince the American public that laser surgery was safe, painless and highly successful. People naturally are very fearful of eye injuries or complications and had to be convinced that the laser procedure really was safe. Now laser surgery is a billion-dollar industry and safety is taken for granted by most – because of PR. The highlight of that campaign was one of the first laser eye surgeries ever performed LIVE on FOX-TV.
Another client with a great cause was a lady who wanted to rescue thoroughbred horses that, after being retired from racing, were being slaughtered and sold for meat to be eaten in European and Asian restaurants. Her motivation was great but her financial means were limited. So publicity was used to gain television and radio interviews to get others to make financial contributions to keep her dream alive. We used hot news pegs, such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, and the Michael Vicks case to keep re-telling her story in the mass media. The effort landed dozens of interviews culminating with a feature on ESPN. The upshot? The public is now aware of this practice due in great part to our efforts and those of others demanding a ban.
A blind author who was upset by the violence in children’s nursery rhymes contacted us. She wanted to recite wholesome poems to grandson Jack and so wrote him a book of non-violent nursery rhymes. Her Big Idea was to have an impact on children’s literature so that grandmothers across the nation could have better choices in bedtime reading for their grandkids. We launched a PR campaign that resulted in this blind poet being interviewed by numerous media outlets including WCBS-TV in New York.
Several times during my career in PR and marketing, I have met fascinating people with big ideas and big dreams. I have taken great personal satisfaction in using my public relations and marketing skills to help these inspiring American Dreamers achieve their dreams. I know from personal experience that the biggest idea of all is that the key to success is a successful publicity campaign aimed at just the right market.
Contact a professional publicist to help make your big idea come to fruition. Don’t waste time trying to do it yourself.