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A Publicity Checklist: Please Read Before Approaching the World With Your Story

Some modest suggestions to consider before launching a publicity campaign.
Written May 29, 2010, read 2704 times since then.


1. Is your story it something readers or viewers will talk about at the breakfast table the next morning?

2. What are you trying to achieve?  Is there a viable way in which to reach the audience you have targeted?

3.  Are you sure that good publicity is going to be the result of your efforts?  There are times when too much attention is not desirable.

4.  Who is the appropriate media for your message?  Do you have a list of the editors and journalists you are targeting with your pitch?

5.  How will you cut through the sensory overload and get attention? Are you considering a news release, a pitch letter, a news conference, a video, a podcast, social media etc.--or perhaps all of the above. Why are you choosing these options and how realistic are your expectations?

6. Who is your spokesperson?. Does he or she have prior media experience?  Hopefully your answer to that question is yes.

7. Have you considered starting small.  The big media scour small venues to find stories.  Make small placements first and then spiral them into big ones.

8.  Think your story is mundane?  Then you need a good "hook." Find a way to tell your story through the personal experiences of an individual.  People relate to people more than they do to concepts or strategies. So keep it personal. Success Stories, Case Histories and Testimonials are a good example of this approach.

9. You can "piggyback" off a national story.  When a big story breaks in which you have expertise--offer yourself as a commentator to the local media.

10.  Be sure to contact the journalists who are currently writing about your subject.  Check out the current bylines on stories on the "Google News" site.

11.  Editors are lazy.  Do as much of their work for them as possible.  Supply them with great background material for the story you are pitching and always be factual.

12.  What is the ROI?  Generally, in my opinion, publicity is far better than advertising.  It is free and has much more credibility. It is someone else saying great things about you rather than you saying them about yourself.

13.  Do you need to hire a professional?  Many of the tools of publicity are free on the Internet.  But it may not be worth your time to experiment.  To find a great publicist ask a journalist. He or she is the recipient of the publicist's efforts and is therefore the best judge of the impact they are having.

14. Publicity is about relationships.  If someone gives you coverage, stay in touch with that person.  Continue to supply interesting stories. Hopefully you will become a "media pet" and be called upon frequently to provide comments on major stories.

15. Is your story topical?  The media reacts more than it originates.  If you can tie your story into a future occasion such as a holiday you are giving the press a chance to plan coverage in advance.

16.  Good Luck. I hope you will still speak with me once you have become obscenely famous.










Learn more about the author, Richard Berman.

Comment on this article

  • Your Personal Growth Coach! 
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada 
Bonnie Copeland
    Posted by Bonnie Copeland, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada | May 31, 2010

    These are great tips on what to consider Richard. There are a number of things I'd never considered before and few I was glad to be reminded of.
    I had a good laugh at #16 of I for one, promise to do so. :)

  • Certified Cat Behavior Consultant 
Nashville, Tennessee 
Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC
    Posted by Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, Nashville, Tennessee | Jun 01, 2010

    As usual, your article is filled with so much valuable information. Thank you for being so generous with your experience.

  • freelance marketer and writer 
Fenton, Michigan 
Carol Palmatier
    Posted by Carol Palmatier, Fenton, Michigan | Jun 03, 2010

    Great checklist, Richard. I've had good luck with #9 with some nonprofits I've been working with. Lots of ideas here!

    Sure, I'll stick talk to you when I'm obscenely famous :-)

  • Marketer/ Social Media Strategist/ Diversity Trainer 
Burbank, California 
Sahar Andrade
    Posted by Sahar Andrade, Burbank, California | Jun 08, 2010

    Richard: You never cease to impress me your articles are always very rich with informations and what to do Whoever reads this article if you ever want to hire a PR professional and not worry about everything and just collect success: Contact Richard Thank you for great tips