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Missing the Public Relations Prize October 27, 2007

Posted by David Dirks in Buzz Marketing: Lowest Cost/Highest Payoff, Public Relations Strategies.
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In addition to writing to this blog, I also am a freelance outdoor writer.  I have a weekly outdoor column (www.recordonline.com) and have published in other outdoor magazines.  But that’s not why I’m writing this particular post.  This post is about illustrating what a lost opportunity to get free publicity really looks like.

As an outdoor columnist, I have to write 52 columns a year, at a minimum.  The need for new and fresh material is constant…well, weekly.  In the seven years I’ve been writing that column, I can count on my hand the number of outdoor guides (people whose incomes and livelihoods depends on taking people out on fishing or hunting guided trips) who have approached me with a column idea that I could pursue.

Or take the couple who emailed me only recently to tell me that they opened a tour service for guided hikes, mountain bike rides, and kayaking adventures…last June!

So, here I am, a local outdoor writer who publishes an outdoor-oriented column every week in a newspaper that has one of the largest circulations in the area (+300k).

If you’re an outdoor guide who depends on getting the word out about his/her services and you can’t afford to advertise…what do you do?  You contact the local outdoor writer with some column ideas!!!  If you own an outdoor tour guide business that is located smack dab in the circulation area of the newspaper…what do you do?  You contact the local outdoor writer before you open your business with a press release announcing your new business (for starters).  Then how about some story ideas?

How sad.  There are people who are in business and don’t recognize an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with readers of a large circulation newspaper…and get some needed publicity to boot?

How hard is that?  Apparently very, very hard.  As a marketer and freelance outdoor writer, I’m just amazed by the lack of interest, follow-up…call it what you will.

Yes, there have been a few that recognized the opportunity to get some press.  Those are the very few who have the ability to step forward and make things happen.

What about you?  What public relations opportunities are your creating for your business?  What local writers or columnists would be interested in hearing some of your story ideas?  What are you waiting for?

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