Sing Your Business Song Shamelessly: But Think Before You Act

by Cathie Beck

It’s true that I took my self-published memoir, “Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship” from unknown book to winning a big book contract with Hyperion Books — by shamelessly self-promoting it until book publishers and agents could no longer ignore me (www.hyperionbooks.com).

But I did not conduct a “guerilla public relations campaign” for my book until I “got my head straight,” as we say in the south.

Your business deserves — and will enjoy untold new growth — from a strategic and brilliantly executed Public Relations campaign. However, I’ve learned from twenty years of marketing and Public Relations experience that the business owner that spends time thinking about their product and their business before launching a Public Relations campaign is the business that enjoys the most growth, revenue increase and overall business success.

Here are some things to think about — either in the quiet of your own office and/or over a cup of coffee with a Public Relations pro.

What You Need to Know:

It takes passion. If you’re not committed with all your soul to marketing your business with Public Relations fervor, I recommend you wait until you are. You don’t have to be the engine that drives a Public Relations campaign — that’s what a professional does for you. But a halfway attempt always generates halfway results. To be clear: A Public Relations campaign can and often should be a modest one, at least in the beginning. But even a modest campaign deserves passion because passion works.

Set firm goals. Know what you want before you decide to market your product or business with Public Relations. Have a clear conversation and outline how you will measure success. This will allow you to adjust a campaign if necessary and allows you (the business owner) the opportunity to relax and enjoy the new business that comes from a superb Public Relations campaign.

Set a timeline. I always recommend a 90-day initial commitment with a business that has done little to no Public Relations in the past. Those 90 days are carefully built with a clear strategy in mind. It’s like dating. After 90 days, if the business and the Public Relations professional aren’t in love with each other, they can move on. [If the PR pro has done her job, this does not happen.]

Ask questions and collaborate. The very exercise of launching a Public Relations campaign generates ideas. Don’t hesitate to put forth that crazy idea that came to you at 3 a.m. that sounds silly in the light of day. I wrapped my vehicle in a digital wrap of my book jacket. I can’t tell you the number of news stories, book clubs and conversations on the street this one idea has generated — all of which add up to increased book sales just because I’m driving my car.

You owe it to yourself to succeed, to separate you and your business “from all the chatter.” It’s do-able, it’s rewarding, it pays.

Just give it a bit of thought first. Talk to a professional. Sleep on it and even sit down and drink a glass of wine about it. Then, in your gut, you’ll realize that “Singing Your Business Song Shamelessly” works!

Author (www.cathiebeck.com), Founder Cathie Beck Public Relations, Journalist (http://www.cobizmag.com/archives/author/cathie-beck-the-wine-wench)