Using Publicity To Boost Your Online Resume

By Joy Schoffler
November 16, 2012 • comment(s)
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Have you ever read a magazine or watched a morning show and wondered how the company got featured? Good publicity can take a new product or a small company and shine a spotlight on it that will help it achieve amazing results. It highlights your company and leaders as experts in your field and keeps you on the minds of decision makers looking for products and services in your industry. It is also a wonderful business development tool as it shows investors, potential customers and strategic partners that you are a respected source of knowledge for your industry.

Publicity is especially important to companies in growth mode. Whether you are trying to close a major customer or looking to raise capital. One of the first steps in the due diligence process these days typically occurs using a search engine such as google.

As a company looking for funding -- what appears in your search results will be the difference between investment. This is especially true for companies looking to raise funds using crowdfunding platforms.

Your Story Matters—Tell it so You are Heard

Having spent most of my career working with start-ups, I know that the thought of executing a publicity campaign can be daunting. Even very accomplished people often feel that they have little to offer or that they are not enough of an expert to be quoted.

That could be not farther from the truth, any business owner or professional worth their weight (and I am assuming you are if you are taking the time to learn how to grow your business) has value to add. The media are always looking for sources, especially when an event occurs within your industry. As a professional, your expertise is needed and can provide a great deal of value to both the journalist community and the people who read and listen to your advice.

Here are a few tips to get you started and get you heard:

●      Build your media list. Any good marketer stays on top of industry news. They have numerous publications they read, blogs they subscribe to and influencers they follow. These are going to be the first targets on your list to grow your company with the most speed and agility.

●      When there is a good story: follow the journalist, comment on it, tweet the article and what interested you about it. Start to engage in the conversation and be known to people who cover your industry.  

●      Set news alerts for topics critical to your industry. Once you have identified a story, reach out to journalists on twitter or email and offer a unique prospective or data point on their story.

●      Monitor HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and the Twitter streams of journalists in your industry. Journalists are always looking for unique prospective or experts to offer insights.

●      Report your milestones to local business journals and newspapers.

●      When interviewed, most reporters will include a line or two about you and your business even if you are just giving them a data point. Make sure that “one-liner” reinforces your standing as an expert and meets your overall strategic goals. If you are in the process of trying to close a target customer make sure your one-liner includes something about your expertise in their industry.

●      Discuss the selling points of your business where you can. For example, crowdfunding is a very popular topic right now with the passage of the crowdfunding bill.  If you are interviewed about using crowdfunding to launch your startup, make sure to discuss why you see a market for your product or service, always giving data points and discussing what makes you a credible source.

Remember every positive press mention you receive is a wonderful marketing tool that can be used to grow your business and your career.

Once you receive positive press mentions, do everything you can to make them go viral by sharing your good news.  Not only will you have the opportunity to possibly get 2 or 3 stories out of one, but the outlet that published your story will also love you for helping them drive traffic to their site.

Finally I would like to reach out to those of you who are too scared to go after publicity in fear of being seen as, “bragging” about yourself or your business.

We are living in a digital age, what your search results say about you and your company is your online, resume. It is what your customers see, your future employers see and how others who are just getting to know you view you. In other words, your results matter. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself, be afraid not to. It is not about saying look at me, look at me. It is a way to add value to the lives of others, share your wisdom and benefit your industry as a whole.



Joy Schoffler is the Principal of Leverage PR, a results oriented Public Relations firm located in Austin, TX that specializes in helping high growth, high potential businesses and thought leaders from throughout the nation launch and achieve results. With a background in launching startups and raising capital, Joy and her team have used creative publicity strategies to achieve tremendous results including making the INC list, raising over $20 million in capital and securing numerous fortune 500 accounts.  



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Pranaya's picture

Hi Joy,

Great article. Publicity is so critical for startups these days (since the general public looks at the media buzz to validate the business). Moreover, the strategies you outlined are even more critical to a bootstrapped companies when you have limited budget to go towards PR.