Public relations, or PR, refers to a company’s public messaging. In this case, publicity refers to PR coverage by traditional media (magazines, newspapers, and news outlets).
Publicity usually starts with local news, blogs, or viral news sites, which are then picked up by major news organizations.
DonorsChoose.org was picked up by local news outlets, then NewsWeek, and then featured by Oprah. This led to more sponsorships and donations for the company.
Start by pitching smaller sites first. Bigger sites usually scan smaller sites for stories, so they are likely to pick yours up if it’s interesting enough.
Make the pitch short and clear.
Make sure to choose a newsworthy topic, like an event or milestone for your company (product launch, amazing quarterly results, charity event, etc.), and angle your story to make it exciting to read. If you don’t have one big event, you can bundle a few small events together.
A good story elicits an emotion from the reader and makes them want to share it with others. It shouldn’t be predictable or just “satisfy” the reader.
Good stories don’t need to please every reader. Stories that divide readers on an issue often get a lot of shares and generate buzz.
You can use a service like Help A Reporter to give commentary to reporters about your specific field. You can also contact reporters with follow-up insights about your industry or industry trends, or simply tweet reporters your content that you think may help them with a story.
Once you’ve been covered in the media, make sure to share it everywhere: email, related blogs, social media (posts and ads), and link-sharing sites. Make the most of it.
If other people are looking to pick up the story, you can give follow-up interviews to keep the publicity going.
Build real relationships with reporters, as you can help each other out in the future.
You can hire a PR firm or consultant if you have the budget for it. However, many reporters avoid PR professionals, so proceed with caution.