The Power of Publicity – Finding Your Media Niche

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Whether you are the owner, manager, or public relations director of a company, chances are, you’re always looking for ways to get your name in the public eye. While advertising is a great start, enhancing your advertising with publicity creates a perfect marriage of exposure for your company. What is publicity? It’s non-paid communication to promote your company in a positive light using media vehicles like television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. Through publicity you build mutually beneficial relationships between your business and the public on whom your success or failure depends.

When it comes to publicity, most people believe they can write a press release, send it to a TV station, radio station or newspaper and just wait for the avalanche of phone calls. But time goes by… and after they realize there aren’t any reporters beating down their door, they make a few phone calls to the newsroom only to discover that no one even read the press release. All of that time and work goes down the drain. You’re back to square one and you start over, but to no avail. So how do you end the vicious cycle of disappointment?

Research can make or break your pitch

Research. Plain and simple, you need to know your audience and know your media market. And research is the key to both.. So first and foremost you need to take a look at your message and ask yourself a few questions–is it newsworthy? Is it consumer-related? Does it have a local twist? Is it a visual story? What demographic am I targeting–how old is my audience and what is their target household income? The answers to these questions will help you craft your ‘pitch’ and determine which media outlets you should target.

While most people go for the saturation effect, seeking radio, television and print media simultaneously, the reality is that your message might not be a good fit for all media. So that brings us back to the research table. Now it’s time to do a little homework and figure out where your message stands the best chance of garnering media attention.

How do I get on TV?

TV newscasts communicate to their audience through pictures and conversation. Producers look for newsworthy topics that are visual and entertaining or informative ‘how-to’ segments. They want compelling conversation and pictures that will grab the viewers’ attention. They don’t want a ‘talking head’ rattling off statistics or blatantly plugging a new book.

Worried that your message isn’t visual? Try this- ask yourself how you’d explain your message to a child? Did that help you think of any pictures or simple words that fit your message? Those pictures or simple words can translate into graphics for a TV story. We once had a life insurance agency that wanted us to arrange local and national TV appearances for their CEO. The pitch we created offered interviews discussing the importance of life insurance and why it’s vital for women to protect themselves for the future. Sounds like you could sleep right through it, right? But we offered more than just the interview. We had the client prepare graphs and bullet points with short information snippets showing the mortality rate of women versus men. The TV stations turned them into graphics and voila– it became a very powerful visual story that was successful for our client and the media.

Keep in mind too, that the morning, noon and evening newscasts are each geared towards a different audience. The early morning shows are usually watched by working adults and families getting ready for school. Notice how the news formats shift into more of a talk and lifestyle segment that’s sprinkled with news ‘updates’ after 8AM when most commuters have already left for work?

Saying Your Piece on Talk Radio

Radio talk shows engage their audience through words rather than photographs. Most radio stations are turning to local angles for interviews. So it’s important to figure out if your message has a local tie-in or is important to your community.

Because radio doesn’t require visual props or photos, it’s a great fit for just about any message, so long as you can discuss your topic for a good 30 minutes. Because what you’re really doing is having a conversation with the listeners, you need to be well-versed in your topic and able to handle plenty of questions. Your message should be topical too; something people want to talk about at the office water cooler or over coffee.

Radio talk shows, which are found mostly on the AM dial, also vary from morning to night. Morning shows have shorter interviews during this “drive time” to work. Talk show hosts don’t have time for a 30 minute interview because morning shows are jam-packed with news, weather and traffic updates.

Midday shows were once known to target women, but that’s changed because so many people listen to the radio at work. Now, you’ll find many business shows air during typical daytime work hours. After work, you’ll find the second “drive time” of the day. Unlike in the morning, listeners are more relaxed. They’re on the way home from a long day at work and there’s more time to air a 30 minute interview.

During the evening, it’s a mixed audience of people listening from home. And don’t discount the reach of overnight interviews–while you may think no one is listening, think again! Overnight talk shows (from midnight to 5 a.m.) are very important due to overnight jobs that bring in listeners – 2nd and 3rd shift factory workers, public service employees and many other industries that operate all night long.

Getting Yourself in Print

Print publicity includes magazines and newspapers. While they are two different vehicles, their requirements are similar to television. Your pitch needs to be newsworthy, entertaining, informative, and in some cases, even visual. Newspapers work on tight deadlines, so make sure you don’t wait a week after a hot story is released to offer your expertise or an interview on the topic. Magazines, on the other hand, often have a 30 to 60 day lead time. Research the publication you want to contact and make sure they have a reporter who covers your topic or message. It’s also helpful to offer quality visuals. For example, restaurants offering a recipe, a gym offering tips to a tighter tummy, even the latest trends in jewelry, can all be accompanied by photographs to support the story.

I’ve Narrowed the Search, Now What?

Once you know the types of media you want to target, how do you know which TV stations, radio stations, or print publications are in your area? You can always subscribe to some sort of media list, but why would you do this when the internet is full of free media information? Some websites you may find helpful are www.radiolocator.com, www.usnpl.com, www.newspapers24.com , www.mondotimes.com and www.newslink.org. You can also use a basic search engine and search for your city + media, for example type in “Tampa Media.” You’ll find a whole list of media outlets at your fingertips.

Now that you’ve found a list of media contacts, you’re well on your way to creating a Power Publicity campaign to drive business to your company. Now that you understand why it’s so important to find your media niche, next up in our series, we’ll focus on creating a powerful message. To be successful at publicity, you must create your message specifically for your target audience and then find the best media vehicle to drive your message home. That’s why pushing those standard press releases didn’t work for you in the first place.

About Marsha Friedman:

Marsha Friedman is the CEO of EMSIncorporated, (EMSI) a leading publicity firm that has represented many well known clients such as Motown’s Temptations, Teamsters Union President Jim Hoffa, Jr., National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, Bristol Myers Squibb, Financial TV personality, Jim Rogers and Dr. Barry Sears.

About EMSIncorporated:

EMSI is a nationally-recognized publicity firm specializing in arranging interviews on radio shows around the country, appearances on local and national TV and obtaining editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines.

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UK Media Advertising

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ADVERTISING ON UK MEDIA

There are many options for advertising your brand, product or service within the UK advertising marketplace.
Below is a list of the various media options available to you.

Television
Radio
National Press
Local and Regional Press
Magazines
Cinema
Posters

Within each of the above media there are even more options available to you.
However within this article I wanted to take this opportunity to take you through these various traditional media services, and impart my knowledge.
The reason behind this is I am in the process of building a new client portfolio and would like to offer my services to those of you who are interested in promoting your products or services in the Uk, but are not sure of where to start.
Let me also state that I do not intend to make this too technical, and intend only to make available to you the topline information to give you an outline understanding of what can be achieved.

Television

I have written an article on the early days of planning and buying Uk TV advertising which you can read by clicking here.
One of the most important and interesting changes in Uk TV advertising in the past decade, is the launch of Satellite and Digital TV channels in the UK. Which at the end of the day has basically reduced the entry cost level onto TV for many advertisers, it has also created many more viewing and buying options.
The choice and selection of TV channels are now in the region of 200+, but what does this mean?
Basically it means no matter how big or small your budget is, there will be an opportunity to promote your brand or service on TV.
Let me take you through the various options available.

ITV
Can be purchased on a regional basis, and within various regions this can even be broken down into macro regions, making ITV more affordable than you may of envisaged.
Also ITV has a number of national satellite channels ie ITV2,3,4.
Within the ITV1 natoinal and even the satellite channels airtime can be purchased across a number of time bands:

Coffee Time (early morning pre-noon)
Daytime (1200-16.30)
Pre-Peak (16.30-18.00)
Peak (18.00-22.00)
Late off Peak (22.00-)

NB:These time bands are a rough guide for all stations.
So as an example if you have a brand that is targeted against adults 50+, they can be reached by promoting your product or service during pre-noon and 16.30-18.00 (which is a prime time slot for this age group).
Of course dependent on your target market there will be various different time bands and options for reaching your potential customers.

BREAKFAST TV

Is generally between 06.00-09.30 and is operated on a national and macro regional basis by GMTV, also CH4 operate a breakfast service.
Here again dependent on your target market these are ideal for reaching houswives and houswives with kids.
You will note that GMTV carries quite a large number of toy advertisers.

CH4

Similar to ITV though tends to be younger, however is available nationally and by macro regions.
CH4 also operate their own satellite stations +4 etc, which again offer a wide range of opportunities for reaching your target market (or as I say potential customers).

CH5
Available on a national basis.

Satelite/Digital Tv

The options available to you on these stations are huge, so rather than go into too much detail I will be brief. There are channels covering virtually every subject you can think off, from holidays, history, sport etc.
It should be noted though that satellite tv channels can only be purchased on a national basis, though the entry levels will be lower than launching an ITV1 campaign.
I should also make you aware though that ITV1 audience levels will also be higher than the satellite channels.

COMMENTS
It was my intention to keep the above information brief and just to give you a feel of what is available. The skill in understanding this marketplace background is where I come in with over 30 years of background and direct contacts with the media owners.
The research audience data in the UK is highly sophisticated and this can be discussed, should you be interested in advertising on TV,
Before I move on here is a list of the TV comercial sizes that can be purchased:
10′, 20′, 30′, 40′ and 60′ seconds. (the average Uk TV commercial is 30 seconds).

RADIO

‘The theatre of the mind’ as I call it or as known in the industry.
Commercial radio in the Uk can be purchased locally or on a national basis. The flexibility of radio is the benefit of immediate call to action and can be used in any combination with other media or stand alone.
Local radio can be very cheap and a great way to promote any product or service, and add frequency to any campaign.

NATIONAL PRESS
Who said national press was dead, national press still attracts millions of readers day in day out.
The main uk titles are:

Sun and News of the world
Daily/ Sunday Mirror
Daily/ Sunday Mail
Daily/ Sunday Express
Daily/ Sunday Telegraph
Daily/ Sunday Times
Daily/ Independont on Sunday
Daily/ Sunday Star
FT
(there are other titles)

The various titles above reach a wide range of demographics, and can be planned to reach your target market using an array of sizes in colour or black and white. Lets not forget they also carry a wide variety of supplements which cover many topics ie Fashion, Food and Drink, Motoring etc.

LOCAL and REGIONAL PRESS

You will find thousands of these titles throughout the Uk, from free sheets to paid for titles.
They cover virtually every town and city in the UK.
They tend to cover just local news and events, and carry local classified advertising.
A great combination with local radio.
However if you are launching a product or service nationally and using local/regional press, you should compare the cost of a local/regional press campaign with national press. As sometimes you will find the national press option more cost-effective.

MAGAZINES

There are too many glossy magazines to list here, however there are many available within the Uk. Covering every topic and lifestyle you can think of.
From ‘Cosmopolitan’, ‘Homes and Garden’ to ‘Fish friers Gazette’ yes really.
The opportunities for reaching your potential customers (target market) can certainly be achieved with good planning and buying.
Within the glossy titles you can purchase (as an example) 1/4pages, 1/2pages, pages and double page spreads etc.
The key to getting it right is knowing your budget level and creative treatment and finally your target market.
Once this is set it’s just a matter of good planning and negotiating on your behalf.
It should also be noted that many of these titles also carry classified advertising.

CINEMA

Cinema is an excellent media opportunity for exposing your brand or service to the younger end of the market ie 15-25 year olds. Using longer commercials which add great impact.
Cinema can be purchased in many packages from a particular genre to locations throughout the UK.

POSTERS
Or outdoor as we like to call it in the media.
This covers a wide range of media options:
Static posters
Buses
Taxis
Mobile posters
London underground
Railway advertising
Bus stop advertising
Store advertising
Airports
Ferry ports
It varies quite a lot and the opportunities are vast.
The key to any outdoor poster advertising in creative copy. By this I mean if you are placing a static poster wherever it may be, the copy must be short and concise, as your creative message has to be seen and understood quickly and easily, as passers by only have a shorttime frame to take onboard your message.

With locations such as bus stops railway stations and inparticular the underground stations it is possible to impart more copy as your potential viewer has more time to read your advertising copy.

The larger outdoor static sites are an excellent way for promoting your branding proposition.
Wi
th store posters being ideal to reach your potential customers at their point of purchase
Outdoor media opportunities can be found throughout the Uk, from high streets to airports.

COMMENTS

I have tried to give a rough guide to the various media opportunities available to you throughout this blog for promoting your brand, product or services. I will update this article from time to time and hope you have found some of this information useful.

If you are considering advertising within the Uk and need further help you can contact me by e-mail harrymedia@aol.com

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Multi-Media Systems for Home Televisions

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If you have a PC or laptop that has XP Media Center Edition, or any premium version of Windows Vista or Windows 7, you already have the tools you need to start building your own home media system. With your own multi-media system, you can control your music and TV with one remote control or your mouse.

Its designed to play your videos and music from your own hard, drive, any location in your home network, or any optical drive it has access to. Media which is managed by Windows Media Center can also be forwarded from your home network to TV sets when you add a Windows Media Center Extender or an Xbox 360.

Add a TV Tuner card to your system, and you now have the ability to play back and record your favorite TV shows in HD or Digital Cable. The recordings can be saved in DVD form, or they can be transferred to a portable media player.

WMC can add your music into the mix through the use of RCA type cables from devices such as cassette decks or video recorders, microphones, and other inputs. Windows Media Player also organizes music on your computer. Unless you specify another location, the music files are stored under My Music, and are arranged in alphabetical order. You can make your playlists so you can hear the music in any order you wish. Windows Media Player allows you to pause, fast forward, or rewind and repeat the music just like any other media player you have used in the past.

WMC can also play back video from URL’s when you add a third party plug-in, and this also allows you to access server and client side playlists on your network. Media Center also supports all FM tuned radio stations so you can tune into your favorite radio show anytime you like. You can also synchronize your smart phone and other portable devices with Media Center.

Windows Media Center is the place to start synchronizing your very own home multi-media center. With the recent release of Windows 7, Windows Media Player has been revamped and now has even more options for making your music and TV experiences the very best ever.

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Satellite TV Technology – Know How it Works

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Satellite TV has brought about a revolution in the world of television. A modern broadcasting technology has been incorporated in it. The technology involves the usage of a set top box and a satellite dish for receiving the television broadcast through the communication satellites.

The greatest advantage of satellite TV is that it has a wider range of coverage and therefore, it can access even those areas where the cable or terrestrial television systems do not function. It can be rightly said that this network provides entertainment to the people in almost every corner of the world.

Nowadays, these television networks are being used in three different modes to make you avail them. The technology has been devised in such a way that television can be directly received by your own satellite dish at home. It can be received by your local TV affiliates or can also be distributed across the cable systems after reception through head-ends.

Most companies in the television market are offering direct view of satellite TV. A DBS (direct broadcast satellite) provider is used for programming the dish receiver at your home. This enables you to view it directly on your television set.

Today’s generation has hardly got any time to get bored. The numerous TV channels received by the satellite dish and the set top box in their house provide them with uninterrupted entertainment. The reception is not just limited to the television screen. Technology in the recent days have made it possible for you to view television in your laptop or desktop. That is why we say uninterrupted entertainment. No matter where you are, with the Satellite TV at your service, you can watch your favorite program at any time of the day.

The costs involved in availing such services are quite reasonable. The companies in the market are offering handsome packages, which are worth purchasing as far as the quality of entertainment is concerned. The Satellite TV provides high resolution pictures on your television screen. It ensures great picture quality along with unlimited entertainment for a lifetime that makes it worth purchasing even if it costs you a few extra bucks.

Of all the five hundred or more channels offered by the TV, many of them are educationally helpful. Thus, learning and entertainment go hand in hand. The kids of today are surrounded by gadgets and they hardly find any interest in learning from books. But they do like to fijit with the mouse or the remote control, and so these channels are a great resource for them to learn. Besides, several channels in various languages from all around the world can easily be viewed on just a click of the remote button or the mouse of your PC. If there is any kind of channel left other than the usual ones, the satellite TV provides with you all.

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All Media Is Fiction

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All media is fiction. Every thing you see, hear and read, in print and on any screen anywhere is a fabrication that has been altered, edited, censored, and pointed towards a preconceived agenda. It is not true, it is not real, it is not the whole story by any stretch of the imagination-which it is, but it’s not really anyone’s imagination either.

It is a corporate product; a mind game conceived of by faceless committees meant to dupe anyone within view or earshot into complacent consumerism. It is calculated manipulation with no genuine content that can remotely be thought of as the truth. It only appears real after it has been focus grouped and cut to fit commercial standards, no matter how amateurish or incompetent the final results appear. It has been approved-and that alone determines it as fake.

From cartoons to pornography, from news to soap operas, to game shows and antacid commercials, it is all contrivance. You will never see anything truthful or even factual in the media. Even the weather is approximate. The weather is taped. File footage is not news. The latest trend is ‘reality’ TV not ‘truthful’ TV. There is no one in the media or Hollywood interested in the truth, regardless of being ‘breaking news’ or ‘based on a true story’. Truth is simply one buzzword among many used to conceal and distort reality.

By its very definition media cannot depict reality because media is not real. At its best it resembles the most pedestrian dinner theater; at its worst, it simply is what it is, a transmitter and signal. It is not a mirror, though it uses mirrors, lenses, cameras, tape, film, lights, overrated actors, make up, under appreciated writers, whatever. The fact is so obvious that making the very point becomes painfully tedious-and moot, since for all of the interactive, real time, ripped from the headlines, video game chat rooms, no one seems to care one bit. The entire investment is in making the delusions of others tangible in one’s own life. One must believe what one is fed through the media, or else…or else what?

Let me give an example. War. War is not real for you and me but it is for the people in a war zone. When we turn off the set or change the channel, all of that suddenly disappears. Reality does not suddenly disappear. If you’re of a certain age you remember what TV looked like before black people existed. If you’re of another age you remember what MTV looked like before black people existed. I suppose if you’re even older you remember what war looked like before black people existed. That was a long time ago, but my point is this; war looks like whatever the media tells you it looks like and that is war. Nowadays war looks like a video game, except, of course, to the people in the war.

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