“Roadshow” Public Relations: 4 Steps to Telling, Then Re-telling Your Story

A traveling circus and an informational presentation performed in a variety of locations over a span of time.

What do they have in common?

Among other things, each represents an excellent opportunity for ongoing public relations. That is largely because they lend themselves to the approach of building a general news release that you can readily customize based on different dates and locations along the way.

There’s no need to re-invent the wheel–as long as you create a sturdy wheel that will hold up over time. And I have found that a “delayed lead” or feature approach to the release is most effective.

Most “roadshows” don’t merit a breathless, hard-news style. Ask yourself: do you truly need to jam in the date, time, place and topic in one self-important, run-on sentence that clunkily bangs readers over the head?

Instead:

1. Invite readers in conversationally.

2. Ease them into the topic with a big-picture illustration.

3. Drive home the central point with those pertinent what-who-when-where details.

4. Deliver the “why”–just what is it about this topic that makes it newsworthy?

5. Having touched lightly on the speaker’s background by now, close with more details and information about where the reader can find out more about the speaker.

One current case in point of this five-step strategy is Inside Edge PR’s media outreach for Jim Flanagan of Naperville-based Bentron Financial Group.

Flanagan, whose many volunteer activities include leading the Celebrating Seniors Coalition in the Oak Park area, is presenting “Social Security: More Than Meets the Eye” to a variety of audiences throughout suburban Chicago.

For example, you can read about this upcoming session at Addison Public Library.

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