Question: “Hey I just read the article written on you about your business and marketing strategy. How does being featured in Black Enterprise help you and you company?.” ~Q. An entrepreneur, Atlanta, GA
Thank you, that’s a great question – one that most entrepreneurs don’t ask before paying a publicist thousands of dollars to get noticed.
In short, publicity provides you an opportunity to increase your warm market. People who may have never heard of you will contact you, instead of you spending precious time to cold call them.
Further, it would cost you thousands of dollars to purchase the same ad space – with you talking about the merits of you. Instead, a feature article, such as “Make Money the E-Marketing Way” which featured my marketing activities, is a full page article that’s free. There is someone i.e., a journalist talking about you and/your product. The fact that a journalist is writing about it almost makes your business activity credible in a consumer’s mind.
I appeared in a business enterprise magazine and I was contacted mostly by other entrepreneurs looking for free advice. At first that pissed me off because I thought “dang at least you could buy my book before sticking your hand out…” I realized, however, it was up to me to determine how to utilize the exposure to my advantage.
In this tight economy, and even tighter job market – a feature article in a prestigious publication such as Black Enterprise, gives me an advantage over candidates applying for the same marketing job.
Note: The advantage/disadvantage in this situation is a recruiter will get an idea of my ethnicity even before I’m interviewed. Same inadvertent disclosure holds true when seeking financing from an outside source if you are promoting that you appeared in Black Enterprise or any minority-targeted publication.
My advice is decide how you’ll use the publicity in an effort to maximize your exposure. For example, ask if you can add the information seeker’s email address to your mailing list. There are many ways to develop a relationship with your new contact. Once you come up with those scenarios include it in your marketing plan.
You do have a marketing plan right?
Post Script: By the way, Bad Publicity can boost business too! You just have to know how to work it. I do and have used bad press to increase market share for a non-profit I worked for in the past.