(Originally published in the New England Real Estate Journal, February 11, 2011)
Publicity - Pushing the right buttons
I won't mention their name (Hint: The principals have 100 years of combined experience). Someone, in a cynically inquisitive way, asked what a PR person might do for such a company. The owners wanted to create some buzz about their business with news stories, website, print ads, brochure, mail/email, etc.
First, a bit of research. I learned congress had declared October as National Elevator Safety Month. With that as the lead angle for my first story, I created a release that appeared in a commercial real estate paper (this one) and in a construction industry magazine. The client received a few inquiries and secured a profitable maintenance contract from a facilities manager who read the article. I distributed the article to a few hundred other print and online publications whose readers are decision-makers in construction, renovation, building maintenance, real estate, etc.
In strategy sessions with the company owner, I made a list of other possible good news story topics for the coming year:
*Design angle - The company designed a glitzy Vegas / L.A. style interior for a Boston club's elevator. Architects and designers!
*Security angle - Cameras in elevators - for security and facilities management publications.
*Safety angle - New state safety mandate for Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs).
*Green angle - New equipment is more energy efficient, vibrates less.
*Milestone angle: The ____th elevator they installed.
*Family-owned angle - Two sons run firm started by their dad.
*High-tech angle - Video monitors to display ads, tenant info, etc.
*Elevator Safety Month angle - Again next year!
There are countless ways to create buzz. One can tie in with current events, holidays, client testimonials, awards / honors, innovations, novel solutions, trends.
No matter what your business or profession, you must have an 'elevator speech' to drive your publicity. Having the right person creating and delivering it can take you to the top!
Stanley Hurwitz is owner of Creative Communications, Stoughton, Mass.