You are a retailer. You turn your inventory several times per year. Absent a website, you advertise new merchandise arrivals in the local paper and use window signs to bring in customers.
- Set up your website and use publicity to announce it. Your “news hook” for the publicity might be the offer of a subscription-based e-mail newsletter that’ll keeps customers abreast of new merchandise arrivals. Or it might be your firm’s focus on ecology, a particular style or an expert blog that aids use of the products being sold.
- New products will be quickly added to the site’s data base. The most significant will be featured in the newsletter or blog, maybe even announced via another publicity round.
- You’ll provide a search engine to enable site visitors to “Amazon” their interests with quick results.
- Truly significant new products will be publicized on arrival using your custom-maintained regional media list (keep this up and you’ll need a national list someday)
- You’ll build a Media Center into your website so that customers can read your publicity in press release form and also read the stories that result from it
You are a service provider. Let’s say that you provide home inspection services to buyers who want to know what they are about to get into. You have professional credentials and a state license, and a team of senior inspectors aided by apprentices. You’ve been in business for seven years.
- When you set up your website, you’ll use publicity to announce it, and offer a subscription-based e-mail newsletter that keeps professionals in the real estate business abreast of new inspection techniques and requirements. You also offer an ALERT service by subscription to help both sellers and buyers deal with changing legislation and industry trends
- Your site’s data base will offer resources — PDF versions of inspection forms, applicable state law and links to the accreditation organizations
- Another resource might be case stories and white papers. For example you might prepare a white paper explaining how your inspection service can help a seller maximize ROI by uncovering problems so they can be remediated prior to selling.
- You’ll provide a search engine to enable site visitors to search for specific issues in home inspection
- A blog that you update every week can deal with specific inspection issues, such as mold, cracked concrete, leaking gutters, brown spots in lawns, embedded dirt in stucco, etc. You’ll build a Media Center into your website so that customers can read your publicity in press release form and also read the stories that result from it
You are a medical professional (doctor, dentist, chiropractor, etc.). Your field is changing every day thanks to new technology and clinical practices. You want to build your practice with an emphasis on the latest approaches
- Set up your website and use publicity to announce it. Your “news hook” for the publicity might be the new 3D imaging system just installed in your office; or it might be the addition of a newly minted associate doctor or dentist with special training.
- You’ll organize your website structure according to the types of patients you see and the common problems they encounter. Within this structure, you’ll include resource materials to help establish “informed consent” among patients.
- Deeper resources will be provided to link patients with professional information that can benefit them. As patients come in, you’ll let them know about the website with a take-home flyer
- As you change your clinical practice or add technology and personnel, you’ll use publicity to get the word out. In addition to sending your announcements to the local and regional media, your well-maintained patient e-mail list can be used for distribution of the message. And of course, you’ll post both your publicity and any stories that appear in the media at the website.
- Other ideas include links to blogs on particular topics of interest in your practice. Perhaps you’d like to prepare your own blog – even if you are too busy to write it, you can hire a freelancer who will periodically chat with you, perform research and submit useful content for your approval and use.
In each example, the core idea, publicity, is merely the organic incentive to do something. If you have news of any useful kind about your business, publicity in the era of “websites for everyone” can make your website a clear winner. It’s not hard to do but it is something that works best with the attention of a pro.
Thanks for reading this series on Understanding Publicity. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
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