May 17, 2012. It has been a banner week here in our boutique public relations office. I already reported that Jake Chait, Natural History Specialist, will appear, along with Billy Roland who we also do work for, on “Final Offer,” premiering on Discovery Channel on May 31. Now, I am pleased to report that the New York Times will be doing a column on birdstones from the Townsend Collection that is being handled by Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper in Indianapolis.
From Jake’s casting call to air date took nine months. From the time we first approached the media with Ripley’s birdstone and bannerstone sale to coverage took eight months.
The lesson to be learned is that high level visibility is a long term project. It rarely happens in less than three to six months. And it always happens when the news is “newsworthy.”
What does that mean for you? Simply that you must plan ahead when working with a publicist.
Although we push out pre-sale and prices-realized press releases all the time because they are very important, these laundry lists rarely capture national media exposure. That’s why advanced houses like Heritage Auctions in Dallas push out news on individual items every chance they get.
So, how should you be approaching your monthly auction communications?
I’m a huge believer in the power of the Internet. This is where your items of exceptional quality can get immediate exposure.
Further, if you distribute through the right channels, your reach is increased. Case in point. If you have a premium package with LiveAuctioneers.com, you are entitled to a press release and slide show. We have helped many get that press release in on time to optimize the package they are paying for.
Press releases handled well are effective in the trades as well. But how many laundry list press release can a reader plough through before he yawns? I would suggest taking only the top lot and two or three more to write about.
The trick about press releases is that they are teasers to get viewers to your site and not mini-catalogs.
Next Step: Re-evaluate your publicity strategy.
Bottom line: the advantages of using a publicity consultant VS an in-house communications person is that you are going to reap benefits of established contacts, out of the box strategies, and follow up.
And be patient. The impossible – in this case, high level visibility - always takes longer than you think.