Free publicity through publication

Not enough companies take advantage of the free publicity opportunities made available by magazines and newspapers.

Publications create a product that they sell to magazine readers/subscribers, and people don’t subscribe to trade publications for the ads; they subscribe to it for the non-advertising (editorial) content.

Many publications put a lot of planning into when they publish what content and then publish that information in an editorial calendar. (It’s usually part of their media kit.)

Look at the editorial calendars of publications that are relevant to your industry. What kind of content can your company create that matches the topics outlined in the editorial calendar? What do you know about those topics? Do you have an expert that can address a topic related to the editorial calendar? Do you have a customer who recently purchased one of your products and speaks favorably of it? Or one who is working on an interesting project?

These are some of the things I look at when I search for free publicity opportunities for my clients. I also have the advantage of writing for several of the publications, so I have regular conversations with the editors about what content they want and what they are willing to pay for.

If the magazine is willing to pay for the content, that means you don’t have to pay for it.

Consider this example:

I have a client who has never paid me, but for whom I keep writing. The client is an equipment dealer. They tell me about stories that I then pitch to trade publications. In 6 months, they advised me of 4 stories, which I have then sold to a magazine important to the client. So, the equipment dealer never needed to pay me, because the publication did. (I never “double dip” – that is, I never take payment from two clients to produce the same material.)

If the client had purchased ad space equivalent to the amount of content created by me, it would have cost them thousands of dollars versus the zero dollars they spent working with me.

So, I get my client free publicity, but the client doesn’t own the content; the magazine does. The client can’t use the content in their own communications or send it to other magazines. They can use their social media to highlight the story as it appears in the magazine who bought the story, but they can’t use it for their own purposes.

To discuss whether free publicity or paid content creation services are best for you, contact me. I will ideate with you to create and pitch content that is attractive to publications.

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