It used to be, publicity and public relations were tools used only by our dealers with the largest budgets. But thanks to personal computers and proper training, more dealers have found success in working with the news media to place stories about their company, events they hold, new products they carry or services they offer.
This "free" publicity is not only easy on the pocketbook, it also adds credibility to a dealer and provides a nice tool to be used as reprints in a sales book. The golden rule in publicity is newsworthiness. If it's not newsworthy, don't bother sending it to your local paper or builder magazine.
What is newsworthy.
What's not newsworthy
Ten rules to getting your story printed.
1. Write a concise press release about a newsworthy subject without "editorializing" (see rule 2). Use a word processor and spell check. Twice.
2. Avoid use of adjectives like best, biggest, greatest, newest, largest, only, and every. If they're not sure you're accurate, they won't run the story.
3. Send the press release to your local paper or to the appropriate builder magazine to the attention of the editor. If you run ads in the same media, send it to your ad rep with a handwritten memo asking for their assistance to get it to the right person.
4. Never threaten the ad rep to "make sure the story runs." They actually have very little control over that.
5. Send a photo that fits the story if you have one. The photo should be black-and-white and of good quality. If the shot is bad, don't send it.
6. Wait for at least two weeks for a paper and two months for a magazine. Then call your rep or leave a message for the editor to see if the material you sent was of any interest. If not, don't worry, just continue to watch for ideas in the future and repeat the process.
7. Plan ahead. As you can see from the lead times in number 6, you'll want to announce timely events and date-oriented news well in advance. Then follow-up as the time approaches as a reminder to the editor.
8. Read the paper or magazine. By reading the media regularly, you'll notice which reporters tend to cover stories similar to your own. Then, start sending your materials to them directly.
9. Keep a log or book or tearsheets from the paper or magazine stories. These articles can be used to help market your company and services.
10. Milgard's marketing department offers photographs and can even help you write your press releases. Please reach them through your Milgard representative.
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