Make Good or Bad Publicity Work for You

Question: “Hey I just read the article written on you about your business and marketing strategy. How does being featured in Black Enterprise help you and you company?.” ~Q. An entrepreneur, Atlanta, GA

Thank you, that’s a great question – one that most entrepreneurs don’t ask before paying a publicist thousands of dollars to get noticed.

In short, publicity provides you an opportunity to increase your warm market. People who may have never heard of you will contact you instead of spending precious marketing dollars on cold calls.

Further, it would cost you thousands of dollars to purchase the same ad space – with you talking about the merits of you. Instead, a feature article, such as “Make Money the E-Marketing Way,” which featured my online marketing activities, is a full-page article that’s free. Someone, i.e., a journalist, is talking about you and/or your product. A journalist writing about it almost makes your business activity credible in a consumer’s mind.

Since I appeared in a business enterprise magazine, I was contacted mostly by other entrepreneurs looking for free advice. At first, that pissed me off because I thought, “dang, at least you could buy my book before sticking your hand out…”

Then I realized that it was up to me to determine how to utilize the exposure to my advantage.

In this tight economy and even tighter job market – a feature article in a prestigious publication such as Black Enterprise gives me an advantage over candidates applying for the same marketing job.

Note: -The only advantage/disadvantage in this situation is the recruiter will get an idea of my ethnicity even before I’m interviewed. The same inadvertent disclosure holds true when seeking financing from an outside source if you promote that you appeared in Black Enterprise or any minority-targeted publication.

My advice is to decide how you will use the publicity to maximize your exposure. Once you come up with several scenarios, include them in your marketing/communication plan.

By the way, Bad Publicity can boost business too! You just have to know how to work it. I do and have used the bad press to increase market share for a non-profit I worked with in the past.

Photo Credit: Black Enterprise March 2007 “ Techwatch -Make Money the EMarketing Way” by Sandra Beckwith