Spreading the PR Wealth: Be Alert to Media’s Need and Be Willing to Share the Spotlight

The laurels keep coming for J.C. Restoration, which last week learned that it had received the Blue Ribbon Small Business Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In the last year, the Rolling Meadows-based company and its president, Warner Cruz, have won at least four significant industry, regional and even national awards, including Cruz’s selection as Second Runner-Up for the Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Person of the Year.

This time around, as much as it would be tempting to focus solely on J.C. Restoration’s return to the spotlight, I counseled the company to touch on the fact that it’s one part of a larger story: there were 75 Blue Ribbon recipients nationally, including five others from Illinois (four in and around Chicago).

The news release, posted here at Triblocal.com, takes that “team player” approach.

Instead of trying to hog all the attention, this tack seeks to serve not only my client’s desire to raise awareness of its success, but also the media’s need for a stronger story.

In the short term, does adopting this spread-the-wealth mentality result in reduced media prominence? It’s possible, though there has been strong media response thus far.

And regardless of any immediate impact, or lack thereof, this bigger-picture sensibility pays off over the long haul via increased media trust and respect for future story pitches that you make.


J.C. Restoration and the other Blue Ribbon winners, by the way, are all in the running for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award and the Community Excellence Award. The latter honor flows from online voting through Friday, March 11.

You can check that out here.

A Brave, New Archive-Friendly World

When I began writing for newspapers, in 1984, I needed to clip stories myself and make photocopies if I wanted to ensure keeping track of those pieces.

Today, nearly a quarter-century later, the Internet has created an entirely new archive-friendly world.

A few years ago, for example, I began using Google Web Alerts to tip me off when a particular word or phrase appeared in cyberspace. So any time I begin working for a new client, I add their name to my list.

I also have my own name flagged, and intriguingly enough, it’s not only new content that pops up in the alerts. Just today, a five-year-old item, a brief ditty on Retrosheet.org that I wrote for Time magazine, came back around.

So did recent material, such as summaries I’ve written for the Urban Land Institute’s Chicago chapter.

If you are in business–and especially in the business of seeing how your business is being portrayed online–then enlisting the help from services like Google Alerts is imperative.

In addition to your own business or organization, you may want to keep tabs on your competitors and general information about your industry.

To set up your own, free Google alert(s), click here.