As a publicity agent and journalist selling stories to national newspapers and television every week I am often asked what people can do to raise their profile.
Many people might have spent hours gaining ‘friends’ on Facebook, begging people to follow them on Twitter and might have written thousands of words on a blog. Some people have devoted themselves to writing a book, sending it to various websites – but despite doing all this, their story has yet to get ‘out there’.
So why despite all the work with social media websites, is that?
Well, unlike tweeting and blogging, publicity gained in the national press carries a huge premium. Space is tight in the mainstream press and so if a national newspaper devotes a page to you, it is saying it thinks you are important enough to devote space to. If a women’s magazine is paying you for your story and giving you two pages to tell it, your story must be special.
Celebrities would not be celebrities (and therefore have their millions of Twitter followers) without their initial publicity from major magazines, newspapers and TV. The tweets from the Beckhams for example only really become news for the masses once they are picked up by traditional media.
And mainstream websites are far becoming THE biggest sites on the internet. MailOnline, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday’s website, attracts some 80 million monthly users worldwide (The New York Times is currently the biggest newspaper site) – the point is, if you just do one story you can instantly obtain massive exposure for free.
If you are a business, just a mention in a national newspaper about your product can ensure a flood of orders overnight. If you are raising money for charity, one person might come forward with the whole lot after reading it in the morning paper and if you are seeking justice, you might find justice does come your way if your story in a national newspaper causes a national outcry.
So should you not bother to tweet, blog or use facebook? Yes, you should use them as it all helps. Social media is perfect to gain a buzz about you – and gives more chance of your story being picked up by the mainstream press.
Also if you are about to sell your story for publicity I always recommend you have a blog, website or Twitter account in place where readers can go to next. Then sometimes the blog becomes the story – for example, one mum’s blog about how she hated moving away, was serialised in a national newspaper. From there, she was approached by a publisher to write a book.
But don’t under estimate the power of mainstream media – of getting your story printed in a magazine, newspaper or going on TV.
And if you don’t want the exposure of the national press, but still want to sell your story, I can always place your story in a smaller publication instead.
Read more: Real life experiences
Contact me to find out more about getting your story into a mainstream national newspaper, magazine or on TV: Contact Alison.