Thursday, January 14, 2010

Want More Publicity? Get Starter Publicity

Publicity begets publicity. You've heard me say it before because I've seen it in action as a publicist and more recently, as a writer, but now there's harder evidence of this. "How News Happens," a new study from the Pew Research Center, reveals that "much of the 'news' people receive contains no original reporting. Fully eight out of ten stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information."

The report went on to say that ". . . of the stories that did contain new information nearly all, 95%, came from traditional media—most of them newspapers. These stories then tended to set the narrative agenda for most other media outlets."

The Pew study of Baltimore media outlets is representative of the local media news-gathering and reporting process, but this plays out nationally, as well. Writers like me use our local newspapers to help generate article ideas that we sell to national publications; national business publication staffers monitor the trade press for news and trends article ideas; the network TV morning talk shows pick up interesting stories from their local affiliates. Whether your story appears in a local or national media outlet, online or offline, you still have a much better chance of getting your story into more than one outlet if you get that one hit first.

For most of us, the easiest way to do this is to start locally. As the Pew study has shown, you'll go the farthest fastest if you start with your daily newspaper.

Have you enjoyed larger media exposure after a local mention? What happened?

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