by Candice P. Cendaña
Have you ever watched a news broadcast and wondered, “Why is this getting media coverage?” It’s because behind that story was someone who knew how to pitch it creatively. The same is true for businesses and artists who are featured in local newspapers and blogs – they gave the media something to talk about. When it comes to the entertainment industry, everyone wants free press. For me, the great thing about going to live music events is interacting with musicians who haven’t struck the big time yet – they’re humble, they don’t expect the world handed to them, and they’re grateful for any type of media coverage. I attend shows once or twice per week and offer free coverage to select musicians, and I do this for two reasons: 1. Charity. Everyone would like free PR but not everyone deserves it. 2. Personal interest. Interfacing with new talent reminds me why I love my work – I love working with people who are passionate about what they do, and passionate enough to pursue their dreams.I get to work with great musicians, all of whom I hope create platinum records one day; but there are times when I don’t publish material, and it happens for a host of reasons. Ensure continued coverage with these simple practices:
Bring everything to the table. Give the publicist something to write about. Your bio might be compelling, but you have to remember that there are millions of talented people who are trying to strike it big just like you are. Think about your narrative and tell a compelling story – give readers something to talk about.
Don’t be pushy. A publicist is paid anywhere from $75.00-$250.00 per hour just to write materials, and that doesn’t include the project fee of pitching and publishing, totaling $300.00-$500.00 total. The publicist has your best interests at heart – don’t ruin your chances of being published by being pushy.
Distribute. If you have a following on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks, post the article in as many places as appropriate and give credit where it’s due. A publicist doesn’t expect it, but it’s a nice gesture for the free coverage.
Be gracious. It should be a no-brainer to say “Thank You” but you’d be surprised by the number of people who don’t. Take three seconds to send an e-mail or leave a voicemail. You never know when you’ll need coverage again.
The best way to secure free PR is to always be at your best. Whether you sing, act, own a restaurant, or run a business out of your garage, someone is likely to find out about it, and, as mentioned in my previous post, someone could be scouting you before actually approaching you. Think about what you’d want written about you or your business, then act as such – you could be front-page news tomorrow. Make every media opportunity count and create a relationship for your business. Free PR today could turn into your greatest campaign tomorrow.