Understanding your audience pays off
Posted by Presentation Skills on September 2, 2007
At a recent course I held in Adelaide, I asked a number of business owners if they wanted to get some free publicity for their business. The answer came back, ‘who wouldn’t!’ so I thought that I would share the trick with you. I’ve used these tricks to get $50,000 in publicity for Executive Speaking, and you can use it too. It is easier than you think, and will also work for any worthwhile cause – not just businesses.
The trick is to understand your audience and what they want!
What did I do, and how did I do it?
When I started Executive Speaking I wanted to generate some publicity. I decided that the easiest way to do this was to get some advertising in national magazines that my audience reads. However, I did not want to spend the big bucks to place ads in the magazines, and I was skeptical that they would work anyway. I decided that the best (and cheapest) way to get into these magazines was to write something for them that they needed. The logic behind the thinking was this:
- Most people ‘out there’ need to improve their public speaking and communication skills. Public speaking is not something that most people like, but they know they have to get better at it. Therefore an article on public speaking would probably be appreciated as there are very few ‘How to’ articles in the media about it.
- Editors are always looking for something new that they can give to their readers. They need this to keep their publications fresh and their readers interested. As there are virtually no public speaking articles about, I thought I could write some.
- So I called the editors and said, “Hi. My name is Darren and I have something that your readers need.” I then explained what I could offer their’ readers’ and how it would benefit them.
- I then submitted the article.
I have used this technique a number of times with many different publications. This has resulted in me getting articles in BRW, MyBusiness, The Advertiser, Marketing magazine and others. I have been able to include contact details and information about what I can offer my clients and how I can meet their needs. The article works better than an advertisement as it offers real value to the reader that they can take away and use. This helps build a relationship with the readers as well. So how can you use this? Ask yourself: “Who are the people I want to reach, and what do they need?” Then work out what they read and approach the editors of the magazine, newspaper, or radio. Remember, the first audience you have to get to listen is the editor. So work out what they want and how you can provide it. What do they want? Is it something fresh and new, or an article that looks at a topic from a different angle? Once you have this worked out, write and submit your article. If it is well written it will be run. A few points to remember with this:
- Don’t just write an ad disguised as an article; the editors won’t run it.
- Offer value in the article; &
- Finally, swallow your pride and get someone good to read and edit it. Get them to be ruthless. This will help it get published
The whole process from initial contact to a published article can take a few months, so get started now! It really is that simple!