Don’t tell me you can’t get any publicity because all the reporters who you’ve pitched are ignoring you.
That’s all the sympathy you’ll get from me. I’d rather spend my time telling you about Dick Stangl, a former client who claimed 7 column inches in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday to brag big-time about his 86-year-old company, a distributor for the power transmission industry.
Here’s what he did. He read an op-ed column last week called “Milwaukee: Where are all the jobs?” Knowing Dick like I do, he probably got ticked. Then he fired off a column of his own.
“We currently have openings in all areas of our business at all of our locations in Wisconsin and Illinois,” he wrote. “We believe our company is a great place to work—we pay well, provide excellent benefits and are willing to train. We have very little turnover, which indicates Weimer is a good employer.”
His point was that there are plenty of jobs, but that parents aren’t steering their children in the right direction. Instead, they’re letting their kids drop out of high school, or graduate from expensive private colleges and take off a few years to go rock climbing. As a result, Dick says, there aren’t enough young potential employees for frustrated, needy employers like him.
The newspaper would have let him brag about this company in a “Help Wanted” classified ad section. But that would have cost him a bundle. Instead, he spotted a great opportunity to respond to an earlier column—and brag for free.
Dick understands his bragging rights. You should too. So pay attention to things like letters to the editor and opinion columns. If you disagree with one, and the topic lends itself to you weaving in favorable information about your company or organization, do it. But just don’t gild the lilly.
PR pro Robert Smith of Rockford, Illinois listened to my CD on “How to Use Newspaper and Magazine Editorial Pages,” then wrote a letter to the editor that was printed in Fortune magazine.
“They even asked permission to include my letter in a promotional package going to tens of thousands of prospects who don’t subscribe to their magazine,” he said.