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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Publicity and your construction marketing brand

The popcorn story related in the previous two blog postings shows the opportunities (and limitations) of gimmicks and tricks to achieve publicity and attention.  If these activities match your business message and brand, then of course they can make a lot of sense.  If they are done just for the sake of achieving "viral results", well, the real value to the business is limited.

I realize that most people in this industry won't go near stunts like this.  Instead, they will play the boring concepts of publicity -- the line-em-up-shoot-em-down pictures of a bunch of executives with golden shovels at ground breaking ceremonies, or the giant cheque for a (really small) amount of money in support of the charity of the day.  There's nothing wrong with this sort of thing, of course, if you want to be safe and boring -- but if you really want to make the news in a constructive and positive sense you will need to do much more.

No one, however, can suggest a simple publicity approach in an impersonal blog posting.  This is custom work.  It requires a real understanding of your business, your local (or national) market and your objectives.  Then, we need to overlay luck as a crucial factor.  Even the best-laid publicity plans are at the whim of the media's own biases and other events outside of your control.  (As an example, a well-planned media event scheduled for September 11, 2001 probably would have resulted in absolutely no publicity for the organizers.)

You can hire publicity and media relations experts but the problem here is you need to have enough knowleedge about the media industry to properly assess their potential and abilities. Still, if you are spending money on marketing, allocating a portion of your budget to media relations and publcity makes sense.  If you are marketing on the cheap without a cash budget, if you really focus your energies and can come up with unique, creative and brand-building intiiatives, go for it.  You may achieve the best results for the smallest amount of money possible.

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