Credibility is the key to successful public relations. Here’s why you should continue reading: Since April of this year I have been in the media over 50 times. Everything from USA Today to The Star-Ledger and San Francisco Chronicle. I’ve been quoted in Inc., Crain’s New York Business and the Pensacola Business Journal. They have even cited me on Monster, Career Builder, Yahoo! and The Ladders. I’ve also gotten coverage in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Uzbekistan. On average I have been quoted as an authority on career development or recruiting three times a week since my PR campaign began. The cost? Nada! Bubkiss! Nothing! Zilch!
The secret to my success is that I don’t “pitch” to reporters. I let reporters pitch to me. They ask me questions. I answer them. I give them what they want. I recognize that their readers are not my audience. They are my audience. I have to please the reporter. The reporter’s audience is his or her editor. The editor’s audience is the general public. If I meet the reporter’s needs, the reporter will meet the editor’s needs, and the general public will read that I am an expert. I reach my goal (the general public) by respecting the PR chain of command.
Before I give you the secret, remember one thing, PR is better than advertising. When you publish an ad, you are paying for it and everyone knows it. That’s great when you are trying to sell a product. If you are trying to sell your reputation – because you offer a service or are looking for a job and want to be recognized as an authority on your subject – then you need PR. You need someone to quote you as an authority. I’m not a recognized authority because you are reading this blog. I’m a recognized authority because someone in Uzbekistan thought that what I had to say was worth quoting.
So how do you get reporters to pitch to you? Go to www.helpareporter.com and sign up as a Source. Everyday, three times a day, you will get e-mails of questions based on subjects that you have indicated are of interest to you. Answer the questions and, if the reporter asking the question likes the answer, you’ll get free PR, which you can include in your resume and, more importantly, reference in your cover letter.
How do you write an effective answer? Well, I can’t get everything away for free!