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Marketing / Public relations, PR

Turning media coverage into sales

Congratulations! Your DIY publicity efforts are starting to pay off. Now it’s time to think about turning media coverage into sales.

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You’ve been interviewed by a national newspaper, invited to submit a regular column to an e-newsletter and a talkback radio show wants your opinion. Well done!

The next step is to turn your publicity momentum into public relations and use it to attract new clients and remind existing ones why they love doing business with you.

Talking to existing customers

Have you ever been out to dinner and been impressed by a framed newspaper or magazine review of the restaurant you’re eating at? Even if you’re a regular diner there, seeing a published review of the venue reminds you that they are skilled, talented and worthy of your patronage.

If the article also features a service you didn’t know the restaurant offered, like meeting catering, reading the review may even up-sell you into buying something you didn’t even realise you needed!

"No matter how well you promote your business to prospective clients, having the media do it for you is much more meaningful."

This is just one way in which media coverage can easily be leveraged to enhance your profile and credibility among your existing client base. Here are a few more ways of turning media coverage into sales:

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  • Send a mailer to your database touting the coverage: I saw an example of this recently where an insurance company mailed a postcard to its clients mentioning that a high profile magazine had ranked them as the best in their industry. (A great move on their part. As a homeowner, why would I look around for a new insurer if a trusted source had already determined that my existing supplier was the best in the business?
  • Display your press coverage: Enlarge and frame clippings of magazine articles in which you’ve appeared, and hang them in your office or store. Simply framing the magazine covers also looks very impressive.
  • Alert your clients in advance: Email your clients or database about upcoming media coverage so they can watch your appearance ‘live’ on TV, or pick up a copy of the newspaper or magazine.
  • Tie it to an offer: Use your coverage to create incremental sales. For example, make an offer in which anyone who brings in a clip of your recent media coverage gets a discount on your products or services for a limited time.

Attracting new clients

Way back before social media was the force we know it as today, Microsoft’s first Xbox gaming console sold out within 24 hours of hitting the stores. It had a consumer awareness rate of nearly 90 per cent a fortnight before it was launched and prior to the start of any advertising. These results were achieved almost exclusively through media relations. 

While you may not have the same level of influence with the media as Microsoft, you can still reach new clients and generate sales by replicating this phenomenon on a scale that fits your business. Here are some tips: 

  • Let the media coverage do the work for you: Being in the media instantly drives new clients your way, simply because they saw, read or heard about your book, product or service.
  • Reach out to prospects: Sending a mailer or email highlighting your press coverage to prospective clients at the same time you’re contacting your existing ones could convert some of your database into purchasers. The credibility the media coverage offers may be just the incentive or reminder that pushes them into buying from you. No matter how well you promote your business to prospective clients, having the media do it for you is much more meaningful.
  • Highlight your media results on your website: When people visit your site to check out your business, you’ll stand out from others thanks to the (implicit) endorsement of the press that you are among the best in your industry.
  • Use social media: Tweet links of your media success to your followers, share it with your Facebook friends and leave a Linked In update.  

Do you have any extra tips for turning media coverage into sales? Please share your ideas and experiences below.

Philippa Lowe

knows PR isn’t rocket science. Getting publicity for your business is not as scary or as difficult as you think! Use DIY publicity to boost your profile, attract customers, generate more income and do business more easily.

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