In this post: 6 tips to free publicity, PR, media coverage. How PR and marketing departments can respond quickly to requests, create systems to minimize touch time – media libraries, backgrounders, word listings, images – and respond in a timely manner. Why businesses don’t respond.
Here’s how this story got started. I was having a conversation with a colleague who does public relations (PR) for a destination. He was lamenting how difficult it is to get some nonprofit attraction market managers and for-profit restaurant managers to return an email or a phone call.
He wasn’t trying to sell them anything. He was trying to give them something for free – publicity, pr and media coverage. All he needed was a photograph and in this case also a few lines of text, a paragraph at most.
While it was during the 4th of July holiday week, it sure seemed odd that no one was willing or able to answer the phone, check emails or respond with an out-of-office message. He ranted,
“Hello people … this is free publicity, I’m giving you!”
Lessons to be learned here:
- Always make sure you have an auto-reply email message set up with a go-to person (make sure they are actually going to be in the office first). Update your voicemail message to reflect the same.
- Always have a few images in your media library at the ready to meet these kinds of requests for free publicity, PR and media coverage.
- Always have a backgrounder on hand with the basic facts about your organization.
- Always maintain an updated set of 25-50-100 word listings.
- Always give someone the responsibility and authority to respond in your absence.
- Best case, have an online self-service media library accessible to PR types. Worried about who’s inquiring? Set up a form to allow entry.
I’m making changes to my will … and wanted to talk to someone about making a donation.
It’s sad that you sometimes need to dangle money in front of people in order for them to do something so basic as respond to a call or an email.
Want to bet that the same nonprofit’s Gifts & Donors Department would have replied.
If you’re looking for assistance in establishing an online media library, a basket of PR tools or communications policies and procedures for your nonprofit organization, quasi-government agency or business, please contact us at Flying Compass to learn how we can help.