Let's cover how many people make the same avoidable mistakes. A lot of people spend a ton of money on creating media. Let's look the example using video. A business will hire a video production company. They'll spend oodles of money to try to get a great looking video and then when the final video is delivered, they are often in a bind. They're now out of money and they don't have a plan for what they're going to do with the video to get it into the hands of the people they want to see it.
Or, a business will hire a marketing firm but they won't have any media or PR to help the marketing firm get the message out. Or, lastly, one of the biggest mistakes I see is when people hire a PR firm and they don't have any media or marketing to back up the PR.
So here is the secret. we call it the "business trifecta" for growing your bottom line. You've got to have a healthy combination of media, marketing and PR in every single thing that you do. Not just one of these elements.
Let's look an example based on what we do for authors. We put together books where we guarantee best-seller status. One of the things we do is we produce a great hardcover book. That takes care of the media element. Then, we help market the books and we guarantee best-seller status. We actually handle the marketing to get the books to best-seller status and we teach our authors more than 30 ways to use a book to grow their business. Finally, we put out press talking about how they the authors just hit the best-sellers' list, and another one that the author got signed to a publishing deal. In essence, these authors get everything they need—media, marketing and PR, all-in-one. This example is really not designed to be a blatant pitch for what we do, but it's one of the few examples I could find of an all-in campaign.
The point is that in everything you do to promote your business you need to have a plan for media, marketing and PR.
Okay, now that you understand the business trifecta, we'll reveal our secret formula for media success. Another important distinction is that there are two types of media—mass media and targeted media. Mass media is, for the most part, considered to be made up of television, radio and newspapers/magazines. Mass media does two amazing things for you: it builds credibility as well as awareness. Now, the thing that most people forget when they are plowing ahead with big PR budgets to get into mass media is that "you can't eat credibility or awareness," i.e. they don't usually generate revenue without some form of direct solicitation for business. That's where marketing comes in.
The second type of media is known as direct media. This is the kind of media that, typically, you create and most importantly you are in charge of where it gets distributed. Great examples of direct media can be seen in websites, direct mail, newsletters, magazines, flyers, CDs, and DVDs, just to name a few. By distributing this media to an audience you select, and by you being involved in the creation, you can directly solicit business with it through sales copy and a "call to action", and you can make sure people see it as many times as you want. Therefore it becomes a form of direct marketing. The problem with direct media is that it lacks any real form of credibility.
When you are soliciting someone for their business, they immediately put up their guard because people love to buy but hate the thought of being sold because they have had experiences in the past that ended negatively when they made a bad purchasing decision. So, increasingly, consumers look to third party credibility in the form of testimonials and product reviews, but there's another form that works great too, and that's where the secret formula comes in. The best solution for this credibility issue can be found by combine the two forms of media, mass media and direct media.
So here's what you do. You try to get mass media—television, radio and newspaper/magazines—the fastest, easiest way you possibly can. Then you take your direct media, the stuff you can spend as much or as little money as you want on it and as much or as little time as you want on it, but you can control it, and you insert your mass media credibility in the direct media. So, for example, the next time you send out a sales letter or a mail piece, or you send out an e-mail or an e-zine, you now have the credibility of being in mass media to insert in it. What happens when someone comes to your website or they see your mail piece, it effectively if not bluntly says, "You may have seen us or our products recently on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX affiliates or in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today or Newsweek."
Now let me ask you this, do you think that won't get you taken a little bit more seriously? I can tell you based on literally hundreds of case studies, it absolutely will get people to pay closer attention to you and what you have to offer.
Our point here today is you've got to take mass media credibility—television, radio and newspaper/magazines—and insert this credibility in your direct media. Make sure you don't make the mistake of spending all the money you can on trying to get on TV, trying to get in the papers or trying to get on the radio without a plan for using this media in conjunction with direct media for your marketing. If you fail to use these two types of media together, then you'll always fall short of the results you could have had.
JW Dicks (@jwdicks) & Nick Nanton (@nicknanton) are best-selling authors that consult for small- and medium-sized businesses on how to build their business through Personality Driven Marketing, Personal Brand Positioning, Guaranteed Media, and Mining Hidden Business Assets. They offer free articles, white papers, and case studies at their Web site. Jack and Nick have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, FastCompany.com, and many more media outlets.