Let’s talk publicity. First rule of thumb is “Be Prepared.” You need to be prepared for that phone call from the media, a radio talk show or even Oprah Winfrey. Will you ever get that phone call? Maybe or maybe not, but you do need to be prepared for it and many more.
So, think about it. Have a friend or significant other phone you as if they’re someone in the media and start asking you rapid fire questions so you have your standard answers ready to go. Make your answers interesting, humorous and spontaneous sounding.
Research your target publicity market. Find out how they do things and tailor your publicity talks around what they do. Cultivate your media contacts. Stay in touch. Let them know you’re available at a last minute notice. At times, for one reason or another a guest has to cancel and they need someone available to fill that spot immediately. Keep on their radar so they know they can call on you to fill that spot at any time.
The slowest week for the media is the week between Christmas and New Year. There’s nothing going on and the media is trying to fill time slots. Plan something interesting. Years ago I read a publicity book on how to get some free television publicity.
I always remember the story he talked about in that book. The day after Thanksgiving it is tough to find a decent story. Government offices are shut down and police departments are running on skeleton staffs. People are home eating leftover turkey. So this particular reporter was trying to come up with something to put on the news when his phone rang and a guy tells him about a turkey he has. Seems the guy just couldn’t bring himself to kill this particular turkey and when asked why not, he tells the reporter it’s because he just looks too much like Elvis.
So the reporter, desperate for anything, jumped in his car and headed out to see Elvis Turkey. When he gets there, he has a hard time seeing the resemblance to Elvis but the owner says wait a minute and proceeds to take the little piece of skin that hangs down from the turkey’s beak and throws it back over the turkey’s head. Then he says “now don’t that look like Elvis’ hairdo?” The reporter still doesn’t exactly see the resemblance so the man says he sings. He takes hold of the turkey’s wings and they start dancing around the barnyard while the man sings “One for the money …” and the turkey answers with “Gobble, gobble, gobble.” So the man and the turkey dance around the barnyard singing “Blue Suede Shoes” while the cameraman takes the photos and, you guessed it, that night on Dallas TV news was the story of Elvis Turkey! It was even picked up by a couple of the big all news networks. The object is don’t be ordinary – be memorable!
So plan your publicity now and be memorable!