Proteges in The Publicity Hound Mentoring Program heard me lecture recently on the “side-door strategy” to publicity during a teleseminar I hosted just for them. Even though I’ve always understood and promoted the concept, I first heard the phrase “side-door strategy” when I read an article by publicist Jodee Blanco.
The “side-door strategy” means pitching a not-so-obvious or obscure angle to a story–and catching the attention of a media outlet that otherwise wouldn’t have been interested if you had pitched the most obvious angle.
Publicity Hounds Andrea and Martin Swinton, owners of the Take-A-Boo Emporium, an antiques shop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, wrote to me recently to share an exellent example of how they used the side-door strategy. Here’s what they said:
“Just wanted to pass along some success that we’ve had promoting a product that we sell that has given our shop lots of coverage.
“As an antique shop, we have mostly one-of-a-kind items that are not conducive to mass promotion. So, sometimes I’m stumped about what to do next to get our name out there.
“But along came the handbag caddy–a hook that ladies can affix to a restaurant table and hang their handbag. It keeps it off the floor and secure from thieves.
“It is a reproduction of an item that your grandmother might have had. They sold them years ago and all the senior ladies who see it remember them from the old days. So it is a fit for our antique store to sell.
“We went into Hound mode. I sent off press releases to all the Canadian fashion magazines plus the new Canadian shopping magazines (similar to Lucky).
“So far, it’s been featured in two of the shopping magazines and will be in two fashion magazines, along with a caption mentioning our shop as the place to buy it.
“Since it is such a great little product and we are selling it through our website, I decided to think even bigger and I’ve been sending releases to Oprah’s magazine, InStyle and the other big American mags.
“It’s given us a lot of exposure that we wouldn’t normally get. Our shop wouldn’t be a natural fit for these pubs. But this product is. It’s a lesson to all small retail Hounds. Promoting a product you sell, and not just trying to promote your shop itself, can be productive.
The Publicity Hound says: I’ll cover the “Side-Door Strategy” in-depth and share more than a dozen other examples on the December CD that will sent to members of The Publicity Hound’s CD-of-the-Month Club. In addition to getting in-depth advice on a particular publicity topic each month, you’ll also hear about new media outlets where you can pitch your stories. Each month, I’ll even give you a list of evergreen stories the media will be covering the following month, so you can contact them early and be part of the story.
Sometimes I’ll tip you off to new newspapers, magazines, newsletters, ezines and TV and radio shows you won’t read about here but that you’ll want to add to your media plan.
Read more about how to join the CD-of-the-Month Club.