Publicist Robert Smith wanted something more than the standard brochure to set himself apart from all the other public relations practitioners in the U.S.
So after seeing a tip in this newsletter about starting his own TV show, courtesy of his local cable TV station’s public access channel, he tried it.
“I had never heard of getting a local cable show f~ree,” said Robert, who lives in Rockford, Illinois. “So I contacted my local cable provider and they finally had open slots.”
The two-hour show, called Biz Briefs, features local entrepreneurs, CEOs, authors, speakers and other experts who either live in Rockford, or are visiting.
“I chose a business format because I own a PR firm and it’s an excellent strategy to get new clients,” he said. “It’s a superior access vehicle that sets me apart from other PR firms pitching the same prospects. And it works.”
The first episode was a repeat of his “Publicity Made Easy” seminar. Future shows will be videotaped, with Robert acting as host, asking his guests questions. After each taping, all he has to do is drop off the tape.
After his first show, which aired for two hours and then was repeated, the phones rang non-stop.
“Because of my show, I got a huge account from a doctor with several locations,” he said. “When I call prospects, I’m not calling as owner of a PR firm. I’m calling as host of a local TV show. And I get put right through.”
The most difficult part of the project, he said, was waiting for a slot to
open on the cable channel.
His next idea?
“I’m going to set up public affairs shows for all of my clients,” Robert
said. He’s also going to try to air the show on public access channels in
other U.S. cities where his employees live.
It can work for you, too, and it’s a fabulous way to get thousands of dollars in f~ree publicity. Just call your local cable TV company and ask about how to create your own show, or series of shows. Some cable companies charge a small fee to rent the camera equipment, even though air time is free. Other companies provide the camera person. Other, like the company Robert is working with, accept videos.
The possibilities for content are almost endless. Attorneys can interview other attorneys in their own firm. The owner of a dog training school demonstrate how to train your dog. A hair salon can offer styling and beauty tips.
If you live in Illinois or Wisconsin, or you’ll be passing through Illinois on a book tour or speaking engagement and want to be featured on Robert’s show, send him an email. Also, you can visit his website .
If you have a P.R. practice, I know 24 more things you can do to find clients. Marcia Yudkin joined me recently during a teleseminar called “24 Ways to Attract Clients to Your P.R. Practice.” It’s available as a CD, casssette tape or an electronic transcript that you can download and be reading in just a few minutes.