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Creating The News

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My clients have a lot to say but many of them come to me having chosen to remain quiet for years.  It’s easy to understand why.  Take one look at marketing today and you see all kinds of people and organizations trying to get your attention.  Some of it is genuine and done with integrity, and some of it is dreadful, self-serving noise.  One taste of the latter is enough to cause you to question the importance of actively promoting your work, but don’t let those experiences handcuff you.  Your work is newsworthy!

A few years back, I wrote a book called, “Marketing for the Mental Health Professional”.   It touched on the fact that the Internet has changed the way we receive and share information.  This seemingly obvious and simple fact offers an incredible opportunity for those who are open to it.  The Internet has leveled the playing field and given us the ability to share our stories at a level that was not possible just one decade ago.  And today that opening has widened significantly.

Here’s a simple marketing process I’m working on with some of my current clients who are looking for publicity.  It’s one you should consider.

1)    Create a “wow” story from within your area of expertise

I come in contact with so many people who are doing remarkable work, yet they package it in unremarkable ways.  Your first order of business is to create a story that captures the news industries attention.  Craft a story that appeals to the self-interests of media sources.  This doesn’t mean you compromise your values.  What it means is that you understand what is deemed newsworthy and you either time an article to be in synch with the news, or you help people see something in a new light or from a new perspective.  It can be edgy, opinionated, unique, eye opening, timely or all the above.

Let’s take the world of mental health as an example.  If you work in the addiction field you might choose to reveal some rare facts or share your unique position with regards to the topic.  The story may have been told on numerous occasions but this is where you look to identify a unique position or offer interesting information that will grab people’s attention.  If you’re a therapist who works with adolescents you could focus on a story that is a hot topic in today’s day and age.  You might consider writing a piece on how teens socialize in our Internet driven world and what that means in terms of at risk behavior and the ability to build healthy relationships.

Below might be some possible titles for a newsworthy piece focusing on the areas I mentioned above:

  • The Secret Story of Addiction: What People Don’t Want You To Know
  • Teens in Trouble: Self-Esteem, Self-Identity, and the Crippling Effects of Social Media

2)    Start at the bottom!

Instead of jumping straight to the top, consider sharing your story at a lower level first.  Information on the Internet is hierarchical.  What starts at the lower levels can and does move up the ladder to more influential outlets.  I once had a colleague share an article on www.ezinearticles.com, and shortly thereafter, he was contacted by a local radio station to share his expertise with a larger audience.  I’ve seen people have their work posted on small and seemingly unimpressive blogs, only to watch their stories catch interest that led to TV appearances and book deals.

Find local level blogs that are hoping to get noticed by higher-level media outlets.  Find those smaller resources specific to your industry and reach out to all of them with your story.  And remember to focus on their needs!  Your content can help them grow their readership and build relationships with media outlets that keeps their blog alive and well.

In my book, I mention www.ezinearticles.com but there are several resources you should consider contributing to.  Another useful resource is www.helpareporter.com.

3) Once you get a story published online, see how far up the ladder it can go

Once you’ve contributed something, do some work to keep the momentum going.  Begin to share it across the Internet.  Find other industry specific blogs, associations, and news outlets and share your story as a tip for them to be aware of.  Post a link to the story across your social media channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook), and directly contact other blogs offering to expand on your story via their news channel.  Target higher-level media outlets such as local news or, in the case of mental health, regional or national associations.  Share your story and make it as easy as possible for them to have newsworthy information they can share right away.

And then, start the process over again!

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Discussion

  1. Barbara Jordan  July 24, 2012

    Great post David! You give us some concrete, practical actions to take to gain valuable publicity. I like that. Thanks again!

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