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I Was Quoted in the News, Now What? Publicity Dilemma 10

Whether it was the Wall Street Journal or Hometown News Radio that quoted you last Monday, congratulate yourself. You have achieved a credibility-boosting distinction that many businesses never attain. And now let's figure out how you can derive lasting benefit from your media coverage.

As soon as possible, incorporate your media success into your marketing materials. "As featured in..." is a good all-purpose phrase that impresses people. Even better, there's no reason to ever remove this reference. Once featured on a TV or radio program or in a newspaper or magazine, you can always tout that having happened.

If you were highlighted in a publication or a broadcast that included web coverage, install a link from your site to their page about your company or you. Add a five-star media credential to your next set of business cards or print up labels about it to stick on your envelopes.

For print coverage, make nice-looking copies and mail them with a personal sticky note to current and past clients and folks trying to decide whether or not to do business with you. Include these copies in your media kit, and in any portfolio you use instead of or in addition to a brochure.

If you have an office where customers or clients come, frame clippings and hang them on the wall. If you have a storefront window, hang the clippings so passersby can read and detour in to do business with you. Whenever possible, mount clippings where they won't receive direct sunlight, and keep an eye on how faded your copy becomes. I've seen restaurants undermine the effect of a rave review because their clipping has faded to the color of parchment.

Watch out for a few no-no's. One business owner I interviewed for a Business 2.0 article excerpted long passages from my piece at his web site. When I pointed out that he was welcome to link to the article at Business 2.0's site but not to distort my work by cutting the portions that were not about him, he sheepishly (and wisely) complied.

Likewise, some publications want you to buy glossy reprints of the article in which you appeared from them rather than make your own. To stay on the right side of copyright regulations, you should do just that.

If you have loads of media mentions, create a list of the media entities that quoted or featured you and post that on your web site's About page. Include the list in your media kit, too. I've seen companies create attractive and impressive "Featured in..." displays using the media logos rather than just their names.

And suppose the media said negative things about you? It's okay to quote and attribute the positive phrases sprinkled there amidst criticism, as long as you preserve the meaning. From People Magazine having said, "Excellent dreck!" you cannot extract "'Excellent!' - People Magazine."

Finally, consider whether you can recycle the idea that earned you media coverage with a different news tie-in or an updated angle. Sometimes you can engineer a creative rerun. For instance, in 1990, when fax machines were new, I got quite a lot of media coverage for what I pitched as an "edit by fax" service. Five years later, I successfully repitched the service as "marketing upgrades," a low-cost alternative to the high cost of top-notch copywriters. A few years after that, I reformulated the same service as "copywriting on call," with a rewrite as close and convenient as one's Internet connection.

With at least a few of these steps, your media mentions will bring you long-lasting blessings!

Publicity expert Marcia Yudkin is the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity, Persuading on Paper, Web Site Marketing Makeover and eight other books. She has engineered coverage for herself or her company in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Success, Women in Business and dozens of newspapers around the world. Get free access to a one-hour audio recording in which she answers the most common questions about getting media coverage at www.yudkin.com/publicityideas.htm

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