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© 2019 Cascade Communications Public relations agency and marketing communications for small business and startups. Offices in Chicago and Omaha.

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  • Jennifer Fortney Cascade PR

Top Creative PR Tips to Create Opportunities with Media


As a startup, you are the Believer. The one who holds the candle of Faith. Who pushes through the barriers with Determination, Persistence and a Plan. However, because you're in the weeds of your business day-to-day, it can be difficult to see your company story. The real one that will attract media and be the foundation of your marketing.

What you think your story is, may not be your story

I have spent nearly two decades as a journalist, integrated marketing and PR professional, crafting stories, writing speeches, articles and blogs and pitching thousands of media my clients' stories, so I understand the media, how to create newsworthy stories and where my clients' successes are likely to fall. For many, it's not where you think it will. You may not always get a feature story on your business, just because you're in business.

There is more than one way to create a story and generate media

Now, this is not always easy from the perspective of the business owner. There are a few ways to go around it, one being positioning your company as part of a timely trend story, and the second is creative tips that are truly new, interesting and useful.

Here's how to use tips to attract TV and create expert positioning

The Client: A new home and office cleaning model startup.

The Challenge: Home cleaning requires relationship building and trust. The market is crowded with competition that already have the relationships this company sought. Needed to communicate the benefits while creating a perception of expert knowledge.

The Strategy: The story was not strong enough to support company business features. We created an opportunity to attract TV morning news interest: "Maid of Secrets" secret cleaning tips campaign. Offered up secret cleaning tips for tough stains and green products to local TV for in-studio demos with company spokesperson.

What We did: We asked the company to tap it's employees and ask them for their best, secret cleaning tips, and called it "Maid of Secrets" media tour.

The best thing about this program was that it not only gave us some unique cleaning tips to demo on various Chicago TV stations, but it encouraged company employees to get involved; to take ownership and pride in the company and their jobs.

There were many "oohs and aahhs" over the amazing things that shaving cream, toothpaste and a tennis ball can do around the house. Curious to know more? Watch Eight Crazy Ways to Better Clean Your House.

The Result: Three morning television morning news segments in a top media market, and a successful strategy that can be replicated in other markets. One station re-booked client several months later.

Now take this thinking to your own business. You think your story really is your business model, benefits and features, etc. but you have to understand, while you may achieve a local business feature in the paper, it is not the kind of lifestyle story the general consumer, your customer, is going to read, see and hence engage with your company.

This strategy spoke to the consumers and business owners that might hire the company.

Defining your audiences and knowing how to reach them is one of the most important tasks you can do for your business. Sometimes, you have to take a step back. Change the Kool-aid flavor and see your business, and its story, from a different perspective.

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