5 Ways to Get Publicity Without the Media

Gone are the days of nervously calling newsrooms to pitch your story to a (grumpy) reporter. I will stop short of saying we don’t need mainstream media to get our messages out to the public. We do. Technology and social media are here to augment traditional media; not replace it.

Enter “Do it Yourself” news. It’s no secret that every company, small or large, has the capacity to deliver their message directly to the people. The beauty of this: your story is not edited, taken out of context, or misunderstood by a third party (reporter). 

We are all news reporters. We all make editorial decisions. We all generate content. We all bring our message to the people. Or not. 

Here are 5 ways you can get publicity–without getting the media involved.  The key is to think and act like a news crew. Because you are now masquerading as a cub reporter.   

1. Carry around technology. Don’t panic. I don’t mean schlepping around $40,000 worth of heavy camera equipment. It can be the camera on your cell phone, a flip cam, and a microcassette tape recorder. You may stumble on something neat in your office for your Intranet that can then go viral. You may find something of interest for the outside world. Be prepared. 

2. Remember Janis Krums. He’s not a household name, but I’m sure you recall the picture he snapped when US Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River. Krums was on a ferry and quickly realized he was witnessing a developing news story. In that moment, Janis Krums of Sarasota, FL was the media.  He captured the moment with a picture taken on his i-Phone. 155 people on the wings of the plane in the frigid water. Then he Tweeted it. 

3. Be curious. Ask your colleagues questions. Start a brainstorming chat or session over lunch. Interesting people are all around you (really). Dig a little deeper. Think creativity. 

4. Catch people being themselves. Don’t try to stage a news moment; look for the ones that come naturally. You may see the VP of marketing changing a flat tire of a co-worker in the parking lot. Hang around and roll some tape, or grab a picture. Use a flipcam to record your ace customer service rep handling the pressures of the job. Post it on your YouTube channel, Facebook, website, blog, and intranet. Positive branding.  Use it during October for Customer Service Month. 

5. Listen closely.  Once you’ve committed to your own media gig, you’ll notice that stories and newsy items are “suddenly” popping up around you. Experienced reporters are trained to listen for “sound bites”, nuggets, and quotes. As a cub reporter, it’s your job to unearth the news and create a fresh level of excitement. Listen for the buzz. As long as your earbuds are out, something will get your attention.    

You may be thinking this is simply too much. “I don’t want to be a cub reporter. I don’t want to hang around the parking lot while my boss changes a flat tire. I’ve gotta get home to set the DVR for “Dancin’ With the Stars.” If you think this job is for someone else, that’s fine. But when bonuses and promotions are handed out and you’ve been passed over, don’t be mad that “someone else” got yours.    

(Photo Credit: Davidwatts1978)


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