Frequently firms will issue a press release about an exciting new product, but, unless there is really something very interesting concerning the product, the journals will merely spike the story. Stories about new products are almost always going to look like thinly disguised advertisements. Newspapers do not exist to publish free advertising-they charge for space-but they'll publish something interesting.
When James Dyson launched his new upright vacuum cleaner, he merely did not have the resources to run the kind of advertising campaign the product warranted. The cleaner's innovative design produced it stand out in the showrooms, however it cost about double the cost of a conventional vacuum cleaner and the advantages had been certainly not instantly apparent. Dyson decided to engage the potential clients by hanging a tag on each machine that explained the difficulties he had encountered in designing the vacuum cleaner and getting it onto the market.
The tags had been an immediate success. Individuals enjoyed reading the Dyson story, so Dyson went one step further and gave interviews to selected reporters (rather than issue a press release). The thrust of the stories was Dyson's life experiences instead of the functions and advantages of the vacuum cleaner, but the stories and also the tags enabled potential consumers to turn out to be involved using the entire Dyson story: people's natural tendency to admire the lone inventor, struggling to get his ideas to market, helped develop a lot of goodwill toward Dyson. Telling the entire story produced Dyson a success, exactly where other lone inventors (Sir Clive Sinclair is one) failed to catch the imagination of their markets.
Letters columns of newspapers frequently offer an easy method to get your story across. Of course, you have to have a good letter to write, and preferably one that is newsworthy in itself. Writing an open letter to a business rival can be a very effective ploy, especially if the rival has said unkind things about you-this is your chance to reply in public!
Sir Richard Branson is one of the world's great self-publicists. He has a talent for promoting himself and his companies in controversial and exciting ways, none more so than his various airlines. When he launched Virgin Blue in Australia, the boss of rival airline Qantas, Bob Dixon, made a number of statements to the effect that Virgin Blue would never succeed. Three years later he made a further comment to the effect that Virgin Atlantic would never be allowed to land in Australia, at which point Branson put pen to paper.
In an open letter sent to newspapers throughout the world, Branson repeated back some of Dixon's statements about Virgin Blue, and showed how they had been proved wrong: he then went on to offer a wager.
He said that if Virgin Atlantic were not allowed to fly into Australia within 18 months, he would personally wear a Qantas stewardess's uniform and work on Qantas' London to Sydney flight, serving their customers throughout. If, on the other hand, Virgin were allowed in, he would expect Dixon to don a Virgin uniform and work the Virgin flight. Branson attached a mock-up picture of a Virgin stewardess with Dixon's head superimposed. Dixon turned down the offer, saying "We are running an airline, not a circus."
The result of this letter was, of course, widespread publicity: Branson came out looking like a confident, clever entrepreneur, while Dixon came out looking like a humorless curmudgeon. In the event, Virgin Atlantic was given landing rights in Australia, so Dixon would have lost the bet-but, in any case, Branson came out the winner.
Our website is not responsible for the information contained by this article. Articleinput.com is a free articles resource thus practically any visitor can submit an article. However if you notice any copyrighted material, please contact us and we will remove the article(s) in discussion right away.
Note: This article was sent to us by: Jeff Brown at 01242011
1. How PR people work with journalists and the media
© 2009 ArticleInput.com.