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Create Website Publicity Buzz

Having a website is an important element of your public relations mix but it needs to be working for you. What else can you do to get people to click on your site? Well you could incorporate some PR activities around your site. Public relations is essentially communication, letting people know what your do, why you do it and how you make a difference.

One aspect of PR is publicity. Creating word of mouth interest in your business by getting free editorial coverage of your business in the media.

Publicity stories in the media are very effective but you won't get one for your website unless you have a new idea, controversial story, sensational aspect to your website, something unusual or completely different. Get the idea? Some story ideas: are you the first to use this technology? Have you made a huge sale through your website? Does your website help or benefit people in any way? Are you running a unique online competition or survey? Have you a heart-warming personal story to tell? My point is that you need to have a point.

Let me give you an example of publicity that was designed specifically to attract people to a particular website.

There's an online travel company Zuji.com.au and what they did was implement a publicity campaign to drive traffic to their website. It was a simple idea really. They put together on online competition asking people to write in their travel secrets of their favourite destinations throughout the world and they could win a valuable travel prize. They told the media about it and although a simple idea it captured the attention of the travel media.

Consequently the media promoted the competition quite heavily resulting in heaps of visitors to the Zuji website. And of course it involved real people telling their own stories so the human interest element worked. It worked brilliantly for the company. Firstly they were successful in getting lots of free publicity from the competition and they also collected the email addresses of all of the people that visited their website. Plus they captured some really interesting stories and content to put on their site. So an online competition works well but you do need tell the media about it. Once you've developed a good newsworthy story you'll need to contact the relevant journalists who will help you reach your target market. Don't contact everyone, just the media that are appropriate to you and your product.

Contact them by sending a media release (it of course includes your website address) or just telephone them. Research your target media by checking out the newspapers, magazines and wherever else your competitors are being featured. You can buy media directories.

Don't forget to let journalists know there is a media room on your website where they can obtain further information.

Another way to publicise your website is to put your domain address everywhere. Anytime you do send out a media release or newsletter or write a letter to a potential client or sponsor an event, not only is it really important to put your name on everything but put your website address there as well. So for instance you might have some fantastic caps or t-shirts designed for your business that you want people to wear that look great and effective and but why not on the back of that cap put your domain name. Every where that you communicate, put your web address. Include on your voice mail, stickers, business cards, your car, caps, t-shirts on everything!

About the Author:

Sue Currie, the director of Shine Communications Consultancy and author of Apprentice to Business Ace ' your inside-out guide to personal branding, is a business educator and speaker on personal branding through image and media. To learn more about how you can achieve recognition, enhance your image and shine, sign up for free monthly tips at www.shinecomms.com.au/subscriber.html

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