Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Want publicity? Don't do this...

This week's issue of The Publicity Hounds Tips of the Week by Joan Stewart has even more good advice than usual. When working with the media to try and get publicity you should not:
  • Pitch a story to a new media outlet without first reading the publication, or watching or listening to the program and studying what the reporter covers.
  • Ask a reporter to read their story before it's printed.
  • Ask a media outlet to cover a story because "you've worked hard on it or it deserves coverage."
For more of Joan's good advice on mistakes to avoid at all costs, read the article (yes, you'll have to scroll down a bit to story #1).

Joan's third article in this issue, "Attract PR Clients" is also relevant to libraries. Yes, the article is about how to attract PR or any business clients by going on the speaker circuit, but someone or rather a lot of someones from your library should be regularly offering to speak to community groups in your area.

Do you offer to speaker to Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, special interest clubs, business people, homeschoolers, PTO groups, churches, campus groups, etc. about how the library can specifically help them?! Unfortunately, far too many people still think of the library as an antiquated place to pick up a classic novel or to take the kids to finish a report. Offer to tell groups how the library can help their members save time, win business, save money, get an A on their paper, etc. People I talk to are still amazed at the wealth of resources from today's libraries. There are still many people (too many!) out there who are shocked that they can read industry journals for free from the office via library-purchased resources, find information in consumer reports or other popular magazines from home while they're relaxing in their pjs, and borrow blockbuster movies from the library. Answer the WIFM (What's in it for me?) question and you just might gain a new user/patron/customer.

Looking for more publicity tips? Check out these past posts:

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