Need a Publicity Idea? Check THIS calendar…

Why do so many publicity efforts under-perform today? That’s a multiple part answer spread over numerous blog posts. So let’s start with a simple formula to get your publicity idea on the right track from the start. (As well as a handy way help filter out the bad ideas.)

As an added benefit, this formula also works for any kind of content marketing.

First, consider where we are today. In years past, people didn’t have as much information to process as they do now. And the media was the gatekeeper of dispensing that information. So we had a more finite number of information sources.

Now information is everywhere! Can you say information overload? So how can YOUR publicity compete and win in this environment?

Start by shifting your focus. Inwards-focused publicity encourages people to ignore your message. In the past, conventional publicity wisdom dictated an announcement-driven approach.

Not today. There’s too much market noise. For that reason, among others, the BEST publicity focuses outward.

Why? I’ll let one of my first Creative Directors say it best. As a copywriter at a business-to-business agency in Philadelphia in the 80’s, I followed this advice with ads. And yet it is even more appropriate with publicity.  Here’s the money quote:

 “When you talk about yourself you’re talking to yourself.” Essentially, talk about yourself and you invite your audience and the media to tune you out with a BIG, “who cares?”

So if you don’t talk about yourself, what’s left? Plenty! In fact, you can still talk about yourself. Just tie it into something external. A current event. A calendar event. And that leads us to…

Your publicity calendar

opportunities for October 2012

Did you know every day, every week and every month has some kind of special and official designation? It’s true. You know things like “National Ice Cream Day.” The media loves these official designations because story ideas built right in.

Many a successful publicity idea started with using these special events as a foundation. And so can you! As long as you follow these two steps…

Step #1: know which events happen and when. (I have a calendar listing them.)

Step #2: know how to best customize these events with your own message.

Here are October events with possibilities…

Monthly Events

  • Computer Learning Month
  • Health Literacy Month
  • Women’s Small Business Month
  • National Pizza Month

Weekly Events

Since we’re already a week into October let’s look at weeks 2-4…

Week #2:

  • Home-Based Business Week
  • National Pet Peeve Week

Week #3:

  • Build your Business With Business Cards Week
  • Pharmacy Week

Week #4:

  • National Business Women’s Week
  • National Get off your Ass and Start Advertising Week

At first blush, examine which of these events tie in best with your type of business. Do anything with technology? National Computer Month is a natural. If you’re in marketing, maybe you offer free business card audits in honor of “Build your business with business cards” week.

You can even play off of events that are more novelty in nature. October is National Cookie Month. Run a contest on your Facebook business page and give away cookie bouquets to the winners.

Why are these publicity ideas different, and more importantly, better? Because you unite your message with an external event. Instead of talking about yourself you are honoring an event and showing a savvy side to your business in the process. That has FAR greater appeal and interest than an inwards-directed message.

And best reason of all? There are always calendar events like these. So you’ll always have opportunities for publicity. The suggestions I provided are just idea starters. Obviously, you’ll be able to go much deeper in your idea generating process.

Every month, I’ll share these “jumping off points” for your publicity. So make sure to check back here the first week of every month.

Got some ideas already? Like this way of generating publicity? Share your feedback in the comments below.

Marc Harty is an online publicity expert, professional speaker, Internet marketing consultant and CEO of MainTopic Media, Inc. Marc’s Online PR Made Easy can help anyone at any skill level generate targeted web site traffic on autopilot.

More Stories