Good News Travels Fast

This newsletter is full of opportunities staring you in the face. If you don’t believe
me, write and tell me so–and by doing that you’d be proving me right.

That would make you a proactive marketer: spotting a marketing opportunity in an
everyday activity.

For instance: Something most of us do every day is read the paper, and though they
may not seem like business issues at first glance, editorials or news items offer one
of those marketing opportunities. How does that merger, government legislation,
tax increase, tornado–or whatever–affect your business, your industry, your
clients? Take a position on the subject, and write a letter to the editor to tell them.
Include your company name in the body of the letter. Readers often give more
credence to opinions of business leaders, and it gets your name out there.

Act immediately. After reading the paper, set aside some time to respond. Then go
over your response carefully. (It’s easy to fire off a letter, but you might regret
sending something not fully thought out.)

Your letters may not be used every time, but when one is, it goes a long way to
building your image as an expert.

Another marketing opportunity arises when you see an article that might be of
interest to one of your clients. Clip and send it to them with a note. Even if they’ve
already seen it, your client will appreciate the gesture. It shows you take them and
their business seriously.

That was easy. Now, what about all those items that don’t directly relate to you or
your existing clients? Some may mean more to you than you think.

Electronic or print, the news media are chock full of marketing information. As you
read, watch or listen, be prepared to capture vital information. Pen and paper by
your side can’t hurt. Every day, companies you should be prospecting appear in the
news. Jot down the spokesperson’s name and title; if you’re lucky the report may
even provide a number to call. Companies like putting their people in front of the
media (because they can say all the positive things about themselves the media
won’t). Pick out the companies you are interested in marketing to, and call them.

The news item doesn’t have to be a positive story; the negative ones may hold more
opportunity. However, don’t assume a company facing tough decisions
automatically wants you. They may react quite nastily to that assumption.

The person in the news story may not be the right one to discuss your ideas with,
but they are an in, so contact them first. When you call, mention where you saw or
heard them, make some positive comment on the coverage, then quickly move on to
the reason for your call. They will appreciate knowing how their PR is working, and
will, no doubt, feel that you’re not wasting their time with insubstantial chit chat.

From this point, the call becomes like any other exploratory sales call.

You can’t afford to sit on these opportunities. News has a short shelf life. Because of
the number of news items we are bombarded with, you should only focus on a
couple at a time. Don’t worry if you miss some, we are fed a constant stream of
potentially useful information, so you’ll never run out of targets.

It’s hard enough to keep on top of daily events pertinent to your field. It’s harder
still, when using them for their marketing potential, to stay up to date, and to act
quickly. But it’s vital, because with marketing, timing is everything.

Opportunities lie on every page and in every broadcast. Your success in using them
for marketing depends on their relevancy to your field, and on your ability to act
quickly.

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