Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Be Outrageous

I watched a glowing profile of Southwest Airlines on a morning news show over the weekend and thought about how nice it would be to have one of those PR jobs where you do no pitching -- you just answer the phone and schedule the interviews, which always result in positive articles or segments.

So that got me thinking...what can the rest of us learn from Southwest that we can use to keep that phone ringing with calls from producers and reporters?

Southwest is a media darling because it is exceptional in many ways. Its business model isn't airline industry cookie cutter and it has a unique personality -- one that flyers love.

If you want to stay in the news as easily and as favorably as Southwest does, be consistently outrageous. Provide outrageously good products, services and support. Be the business that people can't help but talk about. It doesn't matter if you're a sole proprietor or the largest nonprofit in town -- if you are outrageously good at what you do, people will talk because you will stand out. Perhaps you have the largest selection of a certain product category, you deliver checks to vendors personally, or you provide an incredibly generous guarantee on your services.

You've got to be doing something different to stand out -- and different is newsworthy.

How can you be outrageous (in a good way)? What's missing from your industry or field and how can you provide it? Bend the rules a little. Look beyond your accepted boundaries. You'll find a way to stand out in a way that makes customers -- and the media -- love you.

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