This guest post was written by Linda Jay Geldens, a publishing professional with decades of experience. She has copyedited more than 60 book manuscripts in the past three years, on topics ranging from business to fantasy to novels to memoirs. She also writes promotional material, such as press releases, website text, blog posts, back cover copy for books, brochures, magazine feature stories and profiles. Contact her at LindaJay (at) aol (dot) com and visit her website at LindaJayGeldens.com.
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I’ve always welcomed new ideas, even those that might be considered “off-the-wall,” regarding ways in which I might find new PR clients.
One non-negotiable criterion for me, however, is that a potential client’s projects must be “interesting” — by my definition of that word.
Here’s an example of how I actually created an “interesting” client for myself.
“You Need Me!”
I once attended a computer conference. The Apple Computer internal newsletter was prominently featured on a table at the back of the room. A quick scan of the newsletter revealed that the text was riddled with errors.
I went home and circled all the mistakes in red, then made an appointment to talk with the newsletter’s editor. That day, in an uncharacteristically brash tone, I simply said, “You need me!” as I slid the heavily edited newsletter onto his desk.
The upshot: He hired me immediately, my name was on the masthead as copy editor, and I worked in that freelance gig for over a year.
An On-target Referral
This next example is a case of a wonderfully on-target client referral from a third party who had great intuition. Recently I collaborated on a book, where I was a contributing writer, copy editor, back cover copywriter and press release writer.
How did the author and I meet? Through a “virtual introduction” by another writer who knew both of us. The author and I hit it off immediately, and have been off and running ever since.
That author asked me to find 10 or more multiple marriers, a man or woman who has been married and divorced three or more times, to answer a detailed questionnaire we had drawn up for the book, and then to write up case studies for each interviewee.
I did find 10 subjects (quite a challenge, as multiple marriers make up only 3 percent of the population) by posting a query on ReporterConnection, a great PR resource. We’ve excerpted the case studies in the book, Ring Exchange–Adventures of a Multiple Marrier, and printed them in their entirety on the website.
One of my best clients is an innovative training company in San Francisco. I met the client when the CEO was the speaker at a women’s group I attended. Her team had brought their marketing materials to display.
Once again, I was convinced my writing and editing skills could improve their message. So I asked the CEO at the end of her speech to send me a sample project the following week that I could work on. That was the beginning of a beautiful client relationship that continues to this day!
I’ve found clients by:
- Sending tactful, humorous emails about mistakes I’ve seen on websites, and offering to proofread the material before it goes live.
- Posting opinions on interest group sites on LinkedIn.
- Sending queries to people who announce on Facebook that they are writing books.
- Volunteering to write PR material for groups whose causes I care about.
The right PR clients for you are out there—it just takes a bit of creative thinking to find them.
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The Publicity Hound says: PR pros and publicists, what unusual tactics do you use to find clients? Bloggers, if you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, you can email a pitch, but please read this post first.