Any new parenting coach or educator needs a solid publicity plan when starting a coaching practice. Publicity generating activities get the word out about you, what you do, and how you assist others. Yet, new small business owners have enough to organize and can easily push the overwhelm button. Organization is the key to quell overwhelm. The Publicity for Parenting Coaching Series will organize and help you plan your publicity campaign.
Step 1: Understand what publicity is and how it works
Publicity means generating any activity that gets the public's attention or stimulates their interest. So what stimulates interest? When I was raising children and read the printed Sunday newspapers, I read Community News, Comics, Dear Abby or Ann Landers columns. Growing up, my father read business news. My mother read lifestyle sections. The point is that publicity stories are human-interest stories, which are oriented by the usual demographics of gender, age, and community. You will design your public relations campaign according to the following factors, each of which will be discussed in this series:
- Your audience
- Your functional goal such as education, sales, information, inspiration, interaction
- Your image and values
Publicity is communication designed to reach your audience. The specific function is to acquaint and adapt your audience to you. While publicity can bring sales, customers, or clients, the function of publicity is reaching the public with a message. Sometimes, small business owners confuse spreading the good word about business as being the same as marketing, which is campaign designed to solicit customers. Publicity and marketing are different means to different ends.
Publicity = spreading the good will and good word about business services or products
Marketing = spreading the benefits, function and product for sales or paying customers.
Publicity can result in sales, but has a different function and activity. You cannot control publicity and you don't always know the result of publicity, but one fact remains true: If you have a publicity plan and execute those steps with focus and consistent timing, you absolutely will get results. Publicity is powerful in its influence because you are sharing inspiration, newsworthy stories, or information that your audience will read because publicity has multiple functions:
- Publicity can establish as an expert if you frame the story around the success of your results.
- Publicity can educate your public about the importance of a process or product by explaining, offering benefits and results, or offering quotes, statistics or testimonials with the story lines.
- Publicity shape opinion, sometimes through fact and sometimes through the emotional impact of the words, pictures or stories you share.
- Publicity builds your credibility which can lead to further invitations and exposure.
In short, publicity creates your credibility, your reputation, within your community and with your audience. Poorly done public relations can discredit the value of your service or business. You don't have to appear as the expert because well-done publicity makes you appear like a knowledgeable person whom people would want to contact.