`While You’re Up’ PR Like Ice Cream Clean-Up: How Can You Carve Up the Moment Some More?

Like old times: my dad carves up a half gallon of ice cream.

What do empty ice cream bowls and public relations have in common? In my experience, anyway, both revolve around what you might call a “While You’re Up” philosophy.

First, a bit of family history will help set the scene. A fond, enduring memory of my dad was his penchant for corralling me or one of my siblings into bringing his empty bowl of ice cream (often coffee-flavored) from the living room into the kitchen.

This would come after he carved a half-gallon of ice cream with a big knife, into evenly distributed slices–a scene that we re-enacted, to my delight, in 2001 (see photo).

Starting in the 1980s, as one of us kids would rise to bring our own bowl to the dishwasher or sink, Dad would say, “While you’re up, bring my bowl, too.”

It was an eminently efficient directive. Other than the occasional backtracking of a few steps to retrieve his bowl, he really wasn’t putting us to any extra work.

The same efficiency ought to come into play as you approach PR. What can you do to parlay what you’ve already done and create additional exposure?

An example from the past week: I wrote a biography on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty agent Monica Davidson Klinke. In short order, it was up on the BHG/Gloor Realty website.

So, “while it was up,” to paraphrase Dad, it was then a simple matter of making some tweaks and turning it into a profile feature that is now posted on the Oak Park page of Triblocal.com.

Over time, Monica’s bio at the BHG/Gloor Realty website will get plenty of visits. But in the short term, the Triblocal placement will do much more to heighten awareness of her, and the firm’s, work.

I’d even be willing to bet a pint of ice cream on it.

E-Mail Just One Part of Engaging the Media

Relying on e-mail alone to communicate news releases to the media is Public Relations Malpractice.

Pick up the darn phone and make a phone call, among other things, and you’ll separate yourself very rapidly from the PR pack. Sending e-mail is among the easiest acts anyone can perform. So is deleting that very same e-mail.

Don’t let the ease with which you can send a blizzard of news releases blind you to the fact that it’s just one step in the process of engaging reporters, editors, producers and other decision-makers.

You can read more about my approach in this previous Inside Edge PR blog post, The Art of Contacting Reporters By Phone.

News Releases Are Not the Spot to Stroke Ego

A microblog today, echoing what I shared via the Inside Edge PR fan page and via the Inside Edge Twitter account:

The purpose of a news release is NOT to stroke the client’s ego; among other things, it’s to gain placement in the media, which helps the client attain goals.

All the better to let business growth stroke their ego instead!

PR Alert: Time to Start Thinking about July?

Last week, with A Winning PR Recipe: Timely Stories, I touched on the importance of being timely with story ideas to the media.

And usually, all you need are a few weeks’ advance notice to ensure the currency and relevance of a story pitch.

But you also have to keep your eye on longer lead times, such as a recent ditty about McAdam Landscaping offering tips to prep properties for the spring.

I realize it’s January, but it may be time to start thinking about July!

Practical Video Offers Great PR Primer

For anyone who wants to learn more about what not to do, when it comes to connecting with the media, below is a fun and practical video, produced by a company called Wondergem Consulting in Grand Rapids, Mich.

I especially chuckled at the editor who pointed out the annoying (and unprofessional) PR ploy of saying that the “client really needs to get this into the paper.”

Need schmeed!

As I often tell my clients, and stress in my workshop, PR Secrets From a Media Insider, the focus must be on giving the media what they need (and then you’ll get what you want).