Phyllis Cambria

"How to Become a Publicity Pro"


Co-Author: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Throwing a Great Party

E-mail: [email protected]

A Intro and Background

B Types of publicity

advertising (print, radio, TV, vehicle, billboard, advertising specialties, t-shirts, etc.)

business cards

press releases



Web sites and search engines

telephone and association directories

expert status (print, TV, radio, meetings/events, Internet bulletin boards)

direct mail

referrals (colleagues, clients, vendors, community, church, associations)

trade shows

on-hold messages

hiring a PR firm

trade associations/committee work

non-profit participation


C Creating News

Make sure that releases are newsworthy, not self-serving.


Contests (and subsequent winners)

Donations to a nonprofit group or auctions

Free seminars

Giveaways (booklets, gadgets

How you or your company helped solve a community problem

Launch of a new service

New business or store (open house)

New or unusual uses of an old product

New product release


Senior Discounts

Survey results


D Press Release Basics

Length and format (1-2 pages)

Format: For immediate release, contact info, title

5 W's and How in first paragraph or grabber

Editor Release (just the facts)

Distribute in appropriate areas. (If local store, no need to seek international coverage.)

Timely distribution

E Press Kits

When are they used?

What's included?

Background information about the principals if appropriate

Business card

Company history

Contact information

Copies of past publicity

Current press release(s) about your products and services

Examples of how to use the product

Fact sheets with types of products carried or services offered

Frequently asked questions, and the answers

Overview of the product or service

Photo of the principle and/or store

Photos of the product

Photos of what the purchaser will be able to produce using the product or service


F Promotions that Pay Off in Publicity

Charities -- donate products and/or time and/or a percentage of profits to non-profit organizations you care about and who have a high profile of contributors who meet your target audience. Most charities highlight their benefactors but you can include your contribution in your own press release. Donate products or services for high-profile events (such as auctions) that include donor recognition benefits.

Tip sheets or pamphlets -- the subject doesn't matter, just make it useful to the general public.

Sponsorship -- sports teams, special events, seminars, buildings, etc.

Strategic Alliances -- Join with other vendors who are in an allied, but non-competitive, business. Do joint promotions or create discount programs for all participants.

Contests-- costume, recipe, crafts, baby pictures, etc. using products you offer for sale.

Birthday club--Offer discounts for supplies purchased, in-store recognition of members, etc.

Apprentice programs -- Many schools have students who will work for free or little money to achieve experience in their related field. It's not only newsworthy, but it will help you to establish a relationship with potential future employees.

Scholarship -- If you want to invest in a local school or your alma mater, check into establishing an endowed scholarship. Schools usually offer free publicity to their donors.

Community Activism -- Offer your business as a drop-off location for area charitable activities such as Toys for Tots, recycling or feeding the area poor.

Networking Organizations -- Join your local chamber or industry organizations that highlight their members. Offer discounts to other members of your associations.

Seminars -- Hold how-to classes to create items from stock you carry.

Experts and Celebrities -- Work with charities or bring in local sports figures, team mascots or cheerleaders, radio or TV personalities, experts or authors on your own to hold autograph sessions. Live remotes at special events.

Daycare for Shoppers -- setting up a babysitting service in your area or mall for shoppers

Discount programs -- create discount programs for association members, community residents, senior citizens, allied professionals, non-profit groups, etc.




PR Strategies (a clearinghouse of PR sites)