There’s more to publicity than a six foot cheque

There’s more to publicity than a six foot cheque

When I was a news editor on a daily paper Wednesday’s were hell. Thursdays had the biggest paper of the week and we never had enough adverts for these pages, which we affectionately knew as Serengeti’s, because they were huge hostile expanses for us in editorial.

Roy, the wizened old head of photography stinking of Benson & Hedges always came to the rescue. “We can fill that double-page spread with the crap left over,” he would drawl in his Cockney accent.

“The crap left over,” as we affectionately knew it generally were charity events. You know the sort of thing – kids with teachers showing the school cake sale, and middle aged business people in grey suits with six-foot charity cheques.

They tended to go somewhere between page 50- 100(we had the property section hence the huge numbers) and many of these photos had been hanging around in the photographer’s intray for a month.

Anyhow, these pages were generally welcome for us as we got rid of some of the more boring photos and stories and kept the businesses happy.

These pillars of society, who were shaking hands with the mayor, were generally pleased that they were raising their profile appearing on page 86 of the paper in the city where they operate.

Good news? No.

Just like all aspects of life appearing in the local paper isn’t always equal.

Dealing with professionals I need to explain this fuller.

Here is an example. Imagine you walk into a business networking event and you tell some stranger that Timmy Toppersley-Timpkins  has just been made a partner at Foot, Clubfoot & Proudfoot. Do you expect that stranger to say “Wow, mindblowing news. I must become your client?”

I would expect he will pretend to answer his mobile and say excuse me, whilst walking away.

What though if that stranger was going through a divorce and asked you a question and you were able to tell him exactly what he should be doing in light of forthcoming legal changes?

Chances are he will listen attentively and maybe he might just think of hiring you?

My point is the media is just another vehicle for keeping potential clients on the radar about you. However, it has to be interesting and relevant to engage with fellow humans.

A great story about the effects of new legislation or other developments will get you noticed far more than the 6ft cheque. After all how many people really read the whole paper from back to front?  Very few. Most of us scan for what interests us.

This is also true of the internet. That is why whatever business you are in you’ve got to hold the attention. Good luck.