Have you ever picked up the local newspaper and read a glowing story about one of your competitors? And told yourself that the reporter could just as well have written the story about you?
Lots of Publicity Hounds have. They throw away their newspapers, and then stomp off grumbling and groaning that their day has been ruined.
Not so fast.
Do what the folks at The Edge Salon in Fish Creek, Wisconsin did recently. When they read a story in the local Peninsula Pulse newspaper about how Willard Zak was one of the last of the old- time barbers in northern Door County, they wrote a letter to the editor that, I swear, was far better exposure than any article a staff reporter could have written.
The letter introduced Dawn Berna, a third-generation barber “who learned her trade in one of the few men-only barbershops 20 some years ago and can knock out an incredible haircut in 13 minutes or less.”
It also mentioned that Dawn’s chair “is one of the large, comfortable barber chairs, not the ‘flimsy little chairs’ that Mr. Gallagher believes is standard in salons.”
It even quoted a local restaurant owner who said his weekly straight-edge shaves “are the highlight of my week.”
And it issued a personal challenge to Willard Zak, who might be retiring soon:
“The Staff at The Edge challenges you to have us cut your hair….we will avoid the debate of who is the better barber.”
The newspaper even included a photo of a customer having his hair trimmed at The Edge Salon.
Would you have been this gutsy if the same thing had happened to you?
As I explained on my CD “How to Use Newspaper & Magazine Editorial Pages,” you can use a well-written letter to the editor can promote a product, service, cause or issue. Write a letter if a publicaiton won’t write about you. Write a letter if they write about your competitors. And write a letter after they’ve written about you.
The two kinds of letters that editors love to print are those that take a strong stand on a controversial issue or letters that comment favorably or unfavorably on a story the publication printed recently.