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Publicity Improvement Tactics

Getting More Publicity for Inventions & New Products

  by Paul J. Krupin

Publicity is perhaps on of the most important marketing tools an inventor can use. A simple article can inform the people in your target market area that you’ve created a product that can renovate their lives.

Even one single small feature story or article placed in he right publication can drive prospective buyers to your door and bestow national and even international credibility upon you in a way that will enhance your marketing and sales for years to come.

Done right, product publicity is an effective way to grow a business and gain highly favorable recognition in your industry or community.

However, getting publicity for inventions and products is a gauntlet filled with landmines. It takes some special skills, specialized knowledge carefully deployed writing and communications tactics to navigate through the pathway to success. You want to learn what the risk-laden issues are and steer clear of the danger zones.

In general, there are media taboos against giving inventors and products free advertising. They will give products publicity but only if the “news” has some tangible and verifiable educational content or entertainment value.

The media is very conservative. The will only publish trustworthy factual, and validated information. You need to also offer a clear and persuasive explanation to a key question that determines whether an editor will be favorably disposed towards the publication of your news. The key question is this:

“What’s in it for my audience?”

Editors are publishers – they run a publication business that survives and thrives on two income streams – subscriptions and advertising. Their audience pays money for a certain type of information and the editor must produce this information to achieve ongoing success.

In order to tip the decision so that you get the news coverage, you must provide the editor with what he needs content wise, and then make it easy for him to use what you are offering.

With the amazing pace of change and technological development in our world, the media has an ever-increasing need to satisfy the public hunger for valuable and motivating information on new products and technologies. More and more emphasis is being placed on new products and inventions that can in some way enhance the lives of the people on the planet. So if you present these ideas there are opportunities everywhere to get publicity that can help your business grow.

You can learn a lot about how to create bona-fide news in this article. The wisest course of action is to recognize what’s safe to present and propose in your news release and to avoid the topics and critical issues or hot buttons that result in failure. Basically, pay attention to success and failure so that you can derive the benefits and avoid the risks of bad PR.

The thing you'll have to always remember is that you must not simply offer product for sale in a news release. This is advertising and it contains: Product, features, benefits, and price, and HYPE!.

Don’t do this. Media alarms will go off as soon as they see your news release and it will swiftly end in the trash can. This is not what you want to happen.

The most successful news releases contain just the facts.

Just the facts.

Just the facts.

One more time.

Just the facts.

And a picture.

They are short and to the point. They do one additional thing. They add in elements of human interest, education and entertainment, to provoke emotional responses and more than a mental interest.

The way to do this is to offer a simple but dramatic personal story of achievement in the face of adversity plus a little humor if you can find it. And you educate and entertain with it.

So bring in information that allows the media to learn and understand how your product affects people's lives and the community. This is what you must focus on.

The information you present will offer the media the opportunity to describe your talents, versatility, energy, abilities, and more. The goal is not to just get a product blurb but rather to get publicity that creates a personal brand for you. Then, when people see anything about you they go Aha! and they'll then buy anything and everything you have for sale. This is what you want.

Happily, with the Internet available, this is not hard to do at all.

The first step is to do some quick online research and get familiar with what’s being published in you area.

I will teach you a technique that will allow you to quickly and continuously use the Internet to find out what sort of news releases you should create based on what the media is publishing.

Use News Search Engines to Evaluate Prior News Coverage

There are three new and specialized types of search engines out there:

1. news search engines
2. magazine search engines and search tools
3. media web sites (newspapers, radio TV and magazines) with search capability

What you do is use these specialized search tools just like you would use Google.

The goal of this on line research is to help you develop your own PR materials by using existing news coverage (of other artists) to guide your actions on what to do and how to do it. Once you learn this technique, you'll see how easy it is to do this anytime.

What you do is use the key words that describe what you do, like the word "patent" or "invention" or “inventor” and you find and study the articles being published by media with these words.

You can get a taste of what you can learn by simply using Google News like this:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=inventor&btnG=Search+News

Realize of course that Google News is not all there is, but it's a heck of a tool to use.

News search engines are specialized search engines that visit news sites from all over the Internet and use computer algorithms to select stories for inclusion. They then cluster the stories and photos into an online magazine format. As the news changes the news search engines keep you informed of the latest developments.

There are similar sites out there called magazine search engines that do the same thing with magazines and trade publications.

Finally, you can search and find the specialized trade magazines and publications and many of them now have their own search engines that allow you to search their sites and find articles that have published.

These search tools are there to help you access the existing articles and publications. Using these tools will help substantially to do a proper job, and as you get familiar with these tools, you'll make use of them more and more. There's more to life than Google.

The stories you want to focus on are those that tell you how you can position your next news release for maximum exposure. These are stories that reveal how the media covers your topic. They tell you "Do this" and "Don't do that".

These keywords bring back articles. The articles can now be analyzed. They are very instructive. They show how the media has covered your search topic in the past two weeks to a month. There is a range of articles. Study them. These articles very clearly tell you what you should write about and what you should not write about. They provide you with the ability to develop a public relations strategy for your key area of interest.

Use The 3 I Technique to Create a Publishable News Release

There’s a neat way to do this quickly it’s called, "The 3I Technique" and you use it to create appropriate publicity materials for yourself, using articles about other people (= PR success stories) as a guide.

The 3I Technique works like this:

Step 1. Identify the Success Story (using the search engines to identify appropriate articles)

Step 2. Imitate it (pick one and mimic it line by line)

Step 3. Innovate it (by writing an article just like your success story, but using your own information).

Very simply, you must follow in the footsteps of those who have been successful with the media before you.

Using the 3 I Technique allows you to identify other successful media coverage and leverage it for your own practice.

Now to arm you so that you can develop releases and deploy these strategies freely, do a number of searches using your key words.

Then you'll be able to use The 3 I Technique and do what's necessary any time and you'll be on your way.

Things you can’t do if you want publicity -- What definitely doesn’t work

There are certain news releases that simply look more like advertising that news to most editors. Thus, while commercial advertising elements generally may be great for direct marketing, they are generally are fatal when placed into a news release.

¨ Anything that resembles a request for free advertising.
¨ Hard sell commercial pitches or marketing hype.
¨ Pithy quotes from executives & corporate gobbledygook.
¨ Clearly incomprehensible technical mumble jumbo.
¨ Freebies or discounts on prices or demos or consultations.
¨ Offers for free samples
¨ Promotes a product without more.
¨ Simply promotes a web site
¨ Promotes a publication or e-zine.

The purpose of a news release is not to sell product. The purpose of a news release is to persuade an editor to give you news coverage – to publish information about your product.

What you can do to get favorable publicity:

What is very clear from daily analysis of news coverage of products and inventions is that inventors and product developers and promoters can get favorable publicity and that newspapers, radio and TV all over the country provide this coverage readily.

The focus of the successful news articles is repeatedly on creative people who create products that do the following:

¨ More effective and cost efficient living
¨ Healthier lifestyle
¨ Smarter decision-making
¨ Save money, reduce costs, increase efficiency
¨ Key lifestyle or financial topics
¨ Specific problems that affect lots of people
¨ Expert commentary on a topic of wide interest
¨ Coach for improvements in lifestyle, business, or work related issues
¨ Great sound bites on request on hot topics
¨ Teacher of workshops/seminars & courses on key topics
¨ Office, work, family, health, wellness improvements
¨ Injuries prevention and management
¨ Work with county and city government on socially important programs
¨ Work with companies & non-profits on socially relevant programs

Safe Key Topics for Product and Invention Publicity

You must identify and emphasize human interest and place less emphasis on the technical and scientific. Families read newspapers. They are not generally written for people with advanced scientific degrees.

Newspapers in particular focus on local people and characters. The safe topics almost always start with a real-life story and then address one or more of the following in an educational and entertaining manner:

¨ Health, medical and fitness improvements
¨ Innovative solutions to normal day to day problems people encounter
¨ Problem solving breakthroughs which can help people achieve and improve proper lifestyle choices
¨ Ideas that save lives or reduce or prevent injury and risk.
¨ Low-cost entertainment, wellness or financial improvement and enjoyment
¨ Health, safety and environmental improvement
¨ New products that speed things up dramatically and make things easier and quicker
¨ Ideas that reduce costly government & business programs
¨ Business, technology or work processes and essentials
¨ Pain management options (objective)
¨ Stress management aids
¨ Tools and products which aid decision making

Targeting Your Media

News releases should be transmitted to custom targeted media lists that cover the market areas of the product or invention.

The goal is to get publicity that helps you grow your business. This includes getting coverage in the daily and weekly newspapers and on local radio and TV, especially when prospective buyers are a large part of the listening or reading audience.

You want to aim for feature story coverage and inclusion in the right magazines and trade publications.

You target your media properly by asking the two questions:

Who are my customers?

What do they read watch or listen to, particularly when they are learning about products like mine?

These are the right media to send your news release to.
Once you have media calling you for more information you need to be ready to send them what they need to do a story. You send what is called a “media kit”.

Media kits contain everything the media needs to do a story including a product sample, fact sheet, bio on the inventor, pictures and whatever you have available. This should all be placed in a form that is ready to be sent to support and satisfy media interest as needed.

Sample Products & Photographs

With inventions and new products, perhaps the most crucial element is to recognize that you are offering a new and untested product for public inspection, so you must be prepared for a in-situ validation.

You must be willing to send products and offer the media the ability to test and experience what you claim.

Then of course, you can send along photographs, graphics, pictures, diagrams, and other visual aids along with permission to use it.

You have the opportunity now to help a publisher so be generous and make their job easier so they can give you the best type of article. Give them more than what they need at a minimum. Give them choices and the opportunity to see more and select what they like the most.

These incentives will help media to decide to share your news and product and this is what drives most media to get involved with you. You may be queasy about giving the media free product (with high monetary value), but this may be what is necessary to convince them that you have a trustworthy product. Once they do, then the jpegs and permission is what they need to move forward and publish an article. They are publishers and love exquisite graphics, and as you've heard, a picture says a thousand words. They love good pictures so give them what they need.

Noteworthy Sound Bites:

You want to come across as someone who listens well and knows how to communicate to normal people. You do not want to come across as a crackpot or give out corporate mumble jumbo. You need to learn to talk in short clear sentences called sound bites. These are memorable and readily useable statements that can be used in media segments. They are called sound bites.

Ideal Integrated Web Site

It will help you if you have a well-designed and well-integrated web site that people can go to when they want to learn more about your product or invention. The best web site is one that is contains an online media kit so that the media can get what they need right there in seconds and not even contact you.

The best way to decide what your own web site should look like is to study the web sites of others, and identify the elements you like the best.

Final Thoughts

Remember, there are real people at the receiving end. Your success with the media depends on your respecting the media and being courteous, plus your credibility, reputation and performance.

Good luck and prosper. It is not hard to garner news coverage if you take your time and do a careful job. The benefits can be phenomenal. Using a news release to get publicity is a good way to make the most of limited funds. You can work locally, regionally, or nationally.

You can and should use publicity to get news coverage for your invention or new product. Pay attention to what the media needs by learning what they do. Focus on developing what they need then send it to them. Cultivate relationships with media by becoming known as a valuable contributor.

Remember, if you give them what their audience wants, they give you free publicity.

Paul J. Krupin operates Direct Contact PR at www.DirectContactPR.com Call 1-800-457-8746 or 509-545-2707. His e-mail address is Paul@DirectContactPR.com.

Checklist for Invention and New Product News Releases

Headline Who Did What & Why Is It Important?

Contact: Name Phone and Email

Introduction:

Problem, Pain, – Solution, benefit

Who experienced the problem?

What did they feel without it?

The new Invention or Product:

What is it?

What does it do?

Who came up with the idea? Who developed the invention?

Where do they live?

Why did you decide to invent it

Why here?

What are the types of people that will use this?

Types of people you have worked on?

Any famous people or clients

Any famous events that the inventor or company is involved with or has worked on?

Noteworthy accomplishments with the product?

Special relationships in development?

Special product features

Noteworthy new technology?

Unique practice? Special investments?

More details about the invention:

What is new about it?

What is the benefit?

Will it save lives? Better humans somehow? Make something else easier?

Why is the invention novelty? What makes it unique and different? Is it weird in any way?

What field of science, technology, or society does it address?

Who will it be used by?

How is it packaged? How is it sold?

Provide Good Pictures or Diagrams:

Product in use

Happy people experiencing the fun or benefits

Details about the Inventor:

What did it take to come up with the idea?

What are/were the work habits of the inventor?

Did anything unusual happen?

What does the inventor hope to see happen?

Where does inventor live?

Personal information (age, sex, social situation).

How difficult was it to invent?

Was anyone else involved?

Did the inventor receive help from anywhere? Details?

What were the financial costs?

What were the personal costs?

Any interesting stories to tell about how it was discovered?

What was the AHA!

What is the inventor’s education? Background? Work experience?

Does the inventor have any other patents? Articles? Books? Copyrights? Trademarks?

Comments and observations about the past, the present and the future.

More Details About the Inventor

Personal history (where’d you grow up, what you did in high school or college,

Personal education, medical education,

How did you learn about inventing and decide to become an inventor

Where you met your spouse, how you got married, when you had children. etc.

What motivated you to become an inventor.

How you got through the four years of school. Special sacrifices or events along the way. How do you like business now?

What is special about being an inventor?.

Talk about special personal accomplishments or events or experiences.

What else do you do with your time? How else are you involved in the community?

Other Data and Illustrations

Pictures of the Invention Being used by People

Graphics of the invention?

Specific Patent Information:

When applied for

When granted?

Who applied?

Have the rights been assigned or sold to anyone?

Who?

How much money involved?

Specific Product Information

Description

Features

Color

Size

Weight

Shapes

Composition

Marketing Information

Where can people find out more information?

Where can people buy the product?

What does the product cost?

Availability

Web site

Email

Phone

Paul J. Krupin Custom Targeted PR
The Right Markets, The Right Message, The Right Media
www.DirectContactPR.com
800-457-8746 509-545-2707