Today Publicity Involves Far More Than Just Being on Camera

by Sherrie Bakshi on June 14, 2011

unlimited mobile web surfing A few months ago, I was at a radio studio in downtown Washington D.C. with the owner of local winery and the executive director of The Reading Connection, a local literacy organization that I am involved with, to talk about the organization’s upcoming fundraiser.

As we were waiting for the show to begin, I decided to update my Facebook status, update The Reading Connection’s status on its fan page and, of course, tweet about it. The host of the show was doing the same thing.

Then it dawned on me. Today, publicity involves far more than just face time on the news, or getting that big story in the newspaper. It’s about making it go viral in hopes of attracting more listeners, viewers and/or readers and converting them into supporters or consumers.

Some media relations professionals may not recommend promoting an upcoming media opportunity ahead of time because of the chance that the scheduled story may get pulled or delayed due to breaking news.

But thanks to social media, you can promote media segments in “real time.”

Whether it’s updating your Twitter status or posting an update to Facebook, you can promote the media opportunity to your followers and fans a few minutes or so in advance in hopes that they will tune in.

And it doesn’t stop there. The promotion of the media placement continues on your social media profiles. For example, you can tell your followers what’s going on behind the scenes minute by minute if it’s for TV or radio or tweet once you’ve completed an interview for the paper or a magazine, and let your followers know to keep their eyes out for it.

With social media an integral part of many organizations’ communication activities today, it is important to have a strategy in place the next time you or your client are on air. So, keep these tips in mind:

  • Tell a story. Your followers love to get snippets of what’s going on. It makes them feel like they are there with you. While I was on the set of the radio show, there were lots of activities going on like the Peruvian ambassador coming on the set, delicious ceviche being served and so much more!
  • Update your Facebook fan page status. Update your Facebook status the day of the segment. You may even want do it just before you go on air and plug in what you are planning to talk about, e.g., “Getting ready to talk about The Reading Connection’s Of Wine & Words” with Nycci Nellis of the TheListAreYouOnIt.com.
  • Post photos from your television media appearance to your social media pages. With smartphones, it’s easy to click a photo and send it to your Facebook Page or even to Twitter. Don’t forget to caption it.
  • Post a link to the story once it’s live. Once the story or interview has been posted on the media outlet’s website, be sure to tweet about it and add it to your Facebook page.
  • Consider writing a blog post about the experience. Remember, your audiences may be slightly different on your social media pages so don’t forget to post the interview on your blog. Also consider doing a post about the experience, and what you hope listeners or readers gained from your piece.

Do you agree? How do you see media relations today versus a few years ago?

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Image: laihiu via Flickr, Creative Commons

Sherrie Bakshi is communications maven at Matrix Group, and co-founder of Stylee PR & Marketing, which is now run and managed by co-founder Vladia Jurcova Spencer. Sherrie’s 10+ years of experience encompass everything from traditional media relations to effective social networking and online strategies. She is a volunteer and committee member for The Reading Connection, which helps at-risk families throughout the DC Metro area create environments that encourage family reading. When not working or volunteering, Sherrie enjoys spending time with her dog, Nikki.

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