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January 2010 Publicity Tip

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Make successful publicity your New Year’s resolution
Tom Ciesielka from TC Public Relations

Some thoughts for 2010: People have been gorging on social media. Because the online world is so extensive and rife with opportunities, companies often become involved with too many applications all at once, without fully digesting how each one works. It's time for people to cut the social media “fat.” Only focus on the few applications that will truly help you promote your book instead of dabbling in many different applications. Take a step back and look at the audiences and functionalities of each platform. Less is more, if you do it right.

Measuring success
I’ve seen many people who do not place much importance on the specific value of the exposure they receive. Rather, they only care that exposure WAS received. This will not last. No public relations effort will be valued unless it can be measured and lead to an increase to Web site hits or book sales. It will be expected of PR agencies to measure the value of all placements achieved and report the results to each client. It is important to determine the types of results that matter most to you – whether it is Web site visitors or products sold. Doing so early on makes it easier to assess the true value of your exposure.

Wish lists
At our agency, whenever we first meet with a new client, we ask them what their wish list is because we want to know which specific media outlets they want to see themselves in. “Oprah” is usually a given. And as much as we would love to give Oprah to our clients, with a big, red bow on her head, we always have alternate outlets in mind that can help us work our way toward those wish list outlets. As they say, shoot for the moon; if you don't make it, you'll still land among the stars.

Morning Radio?
If you're dying to be on a morning radio show, we suggest that you get some practice. Radio producers and hosts want to interview people who know how to be interviewed so the more interviews you've done, the better. BlogTalkRadio is a site that serves as a platform for various talk radio podcasts covering a variety of categories; books, business and culture to name a few. Being interviewed on one of these podcasts is great because 1) it gives you practice that can be added to your interview resume, 2) it is great online exposure and 3) the interview can be downloaded and circulated to other media. Think of it as the bait to get the big fish.

If you're just aching for BusinessWeek, try saturating the business blog world. Not many people realize this, but media reporters and editors read blogs to get ideas for their articles and stories. You can saturate in two ways. 1) Start your own business blog. Find your niche and stick with it, offering quality advice and unique ideas. 2) Connect with other business blogs (such as Seth Godin's) and ask if they'd be interested in hearing your business best practices or doing a Q&A with you. Being featured in a prominent business blog gives BusinessWeek a reason to come looking for you.

If the visions of sugar plums dancing in your head are clouded out by dreams of a slot on primetime television, this may be a sign that you need to be more active on YouTube. We've all heard the stories: YouTube sensations, videos hitting the million-views mark in one day, going viral, viral, viral. But you don't need to have a million views for your YouTube video to be a successful tool. Perhaps it is a two-minute how-to. Or a business tip of the week. Or maybe you stage a mock interview with a few readers. Get creative, get in front of a camera and prepare for prime time.

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