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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

The Tribe Discovers the Importance of Mainstream Media Appearances

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe discovered the importance of using ghostwritten trade articles to create good public relations for both fire companies and fire company leaders. This week, the tribe discusses the importance of obtaining mainstream media coverage for fire businesses. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot remained unconvinced that mainstream media coverage was a smart path down the public relations highway. “Marka, didn’t you once say you can’t trust mainstream media?”

“At one point I said managing major media is more unpredictable than trade media,” Marka replied, gently correcting her friend. “However, from a public relations standpoint, mainstream media offers obvious advantages. Many of our prospects don’t read industry publications. Almost everyone, however, picks up a paper or watches the news. Appearances in major media will give Org and the FEI brand an unprecedented level of visibility.”

“Every business is clamoring for a spot in the mainstream media,” Zoot said. “How do we vault FEI ahead of the competition?”

“When fire-related media opportunities arise in the future,” Marka explained, “we’ll immediately send out a release commenting on the situation, along with a media kit. These releases will be distributed to our list of media contacts, which includes O-TV and O-radio stations, O-newspapers and even reputable O-blogs.”

“And the media kits?” Zoot asked.

“The goal of the media kit is to make it clear who at FEI is available to comment on the situation as well as their credentials,” Marka said. “A media kit should contain Org’s updated bio and photo as well as links to previous PR appearances. Over time, important media contacts will come to think of Org as an industry authority and turn to him when in need of an expert resource.”

“I’m convinced,” Org said. “Marka, put this together today—I want to be in the press as soon as possible.”

The next day, an errant lightning-bolt from Zeus set fire to a section of Olympian forest. Like clockwork, Marka distributed a statement to outlets across Olympus containing Org’s commentary on the importance of containing fire as well as several tips for preventing fire damage.

FEI’s statement immediately popped up in the inbox of KNN reporter Hermes Watson. Faster than a bolt of lightning, Hermes was on the phone with FEI. That night, Org appeared on the 7 p.m. KNN Evening News to discuss fire safety and prevention.

The next night, Marka, Org and Zoot celebrated FEI’s success at the Red Argus.

“That media interview was seen by almost 500,000 Olympians,” Marka pointed out. “It’s only a matter of time before sales calls start coming in.”

“And I’ve already received an invitation to come on Olympus National News tomorrow night,” Org said.

“Once again, I have to eat my words,” Zoot admitted.

Today’s FIRE! Point:
Traditional media appearances offer a level of exposure unmatched by trade articles, press releases or any other form of public relations. Create a press kit containing information on your company’s spokesperson and distribute to media outlets, whether you’re following up on a story or not. A series of regular media releases on your designated spokesperson need to be designed and sent out. Over time, important media contacts will come to think of your company’s spokesperson as an industry authority and turn to him or her when in need of an expert resource.

FIRE! in Action
MobilSphere Generates Good PR with Personalized Blogger Outreach

The mobile messaging and telephony solutions provider targeted business, technology and lifestyle bloggers with a customized pitch explaining why its new ‘slydial’ product was a good topic for his or her specific blog. As a result, 381 bloggers wrote about slydial; more importantly, the product’s user base grew from 5,000 to 200,000 users.

Next week: The tribe begins a discussion on the “7 Ps.”

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