Issue #830 June 28, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Those Annoying “Contact” Forms
- 7 Reasons People Love Tips Lists
- You Are the Media
- Hound Joke of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
I love my family. Not only do they help me remodel my house, they bring me gifts. They walked in the house on Thursday with bags of fresh produce from their garden, zinnia plants, four coleus plants for my shade garden, herb tea, a new potato peeler (because I’m always complaining that mine don’t work), and a big plastic tub of Chex mix! But the best gift was an afghan my sister crocheted in lavender and periwinkle.
1. Those Annoying “Contact” Forms
Several authors have taken me to task recently for insisting that they include phone numbers in their media kits and on their websites.
“If someone wants to get in touch with me, they can fill out the form at my website,” one said.
When I see comments like that, I scratch my head. And when I see forms like the one she is referring to, sometimes I don’t even bother filling them out. I leave.
These same people spend thousands of dollars on website development and marketing consultants. But if a talk show host wants to invite them onto today’s show to fill in for someone who has to cancel, tough. He can fill out the web form.
What Journalists Want, a new ebook from Ragan’s PR Daily and NASDAQ QXM, quotes a Pulitzer Prize-winner from a major newspaper who admits wanting to tear his hair out when he goes to someone’s website in search of a phone number and all he finds is a web form.
The web form, he says, leaves him wondering if his message really went through.
It’s worth repeating: Your phone number should be, at the very least, in an easy-to-find place on your homepage. Ideally, it will be on every page. Don’t bury it under a “Contact” button either.
If you don’t want people bugging you at home, get a phone number devoted exclusively to callers who need to leave messages, and check it often.
2. 7 Reasons People Love Tips Lists
People love tips lists because they’re short and easy to read.
Here are seven reasons the media love them, too:
–They flag journalists to a larger story.
–They fill odd-size holes on a page of a magazine.
–They can be used as a sidebar to accompany the main story.
–Scanners love them.
–They can accompany broadcast stories.
–They need very little editing.
–Offering helpful tips means you’re doing the media’s work for them.
My webinar on 17 Ways to Use the Simple Tip Sheet to Make it More Powerful Than Ever includes the best kinds of topics to choose for your list, how to write one from scratch, and how to turn your tips list into a variety of multi-media lists. I also tell you things you should call your list so that it’s enticing, and people can’t wait to read it. You can order the video replay and all the bonuses.
3. Your Are the Media
If you stop obsessing over getting publicity in traditional media, you’ll have some time to start creating your own media outlets to spread your message, and also encourage others to promote you by sharing your content.
That was my recommendation during the one-hour show that featured me as the guest expert last Saturday on WISN-AM Radio 1130 in Milwaukee. I offered a list of tips for CEOs, company presidents and business owners on how to create their own media outlets.
Hot tip: Ask employees to help you. If you don’t know how to upload video to YouTube, someone in your company probably does.
Hate the idea of blogging? Invite several employees to participate so the entire load isn’t on one person’s shoulders.
4. Hound Joke of the Week
Mrs Green was walking to the post office when her neighbor came up to her and said “Hello Janis, How’s your dog? I saw her yesterday chasing an old man on a bike.”
“Oh” said Mrs Green “That could NOT have been my dog.”
“Oh, why not?” replied her neighbor “I’m pretty sure it was her.”
“Well” stated Mrs. Green smiling “my dog doesn’t ride a bike.”