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Effective Publicity

Aug 10, 2011 10:35 AM, by Don Kreski

Seven ways to make your PR program more valuable.

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5. Hang it on your wall and your customer’s wall

Some AV integrators like to have plaques made from published articles and hang them in their lobby or conference room. It’s easy to find a service that will create these plaques online.

  • Consider having plaques made for clients whose projects are featured in these stories. It’s one more way to cement the relationship. It’s also a way to tell visitors to your customer's site that you did the AV system and subtly solicit referrals.
  • Hang large prints of the photos you shot of the projects that have been published.

6. Send the story to your suppliers, bankers, financial backers, and your employees

Reinforcing the idea that you’re a leader in the industry can help with stakeholders as well as potential customers.

  • Doing so can help motivate staff and suppliers to take you seriously and work hard on your behalf
  • It also shows financial backers your company is a great investment.

7. Send it to the press

You can establish credibility with editors you don’t know in much the same way that you do with potential clients. It can be especially helpful to send previously printed stories when you approach an editor outside of the AV industry, in the business press, or in radio or TV.

  • Consider adding a press section to your website with story reprints as well as background materials. Include a link to this section when you send story proposals and press releases.

Choosing a target publication

Note that the publications you target for press placements may be very different than for an advertising campaign.

If you’re choosing a place to advertise, you need to be very careful about circulation, demographics, and cost per interested reader. You want to spend your advertising dollars on publications read by your target market.

But in PR, the rules are different. If you start with the premise that what you really want are links and reprints, then what you need are publications that potential clients will see as credible. It doesn’t matter if your prospects actually read these magazines, as long as they respect them.

For this reason, placing stories in the AV trade publications can be very effective, even if you’re an integrator and most of the magazine’s readers are other integrators who rarely, if ever, buy from you. Most end users will see Sound & Video Contractor, for example, as a very credible, reliable source of information, and they will respect the fact that this magazine has published stories about you, your projects, or your customers.

The PR process does not end when you successfully place a story. Take that story to clients and company stakeholders in additional ways and you’ll take your business to another level.

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