How To Get FREE Publicity From The Maryland Smoking Ban

On 1 February 2008, smoking will be banned in all bars, restaurants and even private clubs in Maryland. Here’s a link to an article:

http://www.jacksonlewis.com/legalupdates/article.cfm?aid=1125

This seems like an excellent opportunity to offer stop smoking sessions and also to publicize the benefits of hypnosis. I know some of you live in states where this sort of law has already taken effect. Does anyone have any ideas on what to do to to capitalize on the change? Fellow Marylanders, time to get busy!

There are many ways to capitalize on this, but first and foremost is PUBLICITY! One article in a big paper or mention on a TV show can get you booked for months.

This is big news in your state and will be up to the date it happens, and likely even for a few weeks after.

This is a prime opportunity for you to become a recognized expert in the media. And the media will be looking for ‘expert commentary’ for their stories.

Time to send out press releases and to create a ‘one-sheet’ and a ‘suggested questions’ sheet and position yourself as an expert on this topic.

PUBLICITY STRATEGIES

In addition to sending press releases to your local media outlets and state media outlets, I would recommend the following:

1. Position yourself as Maryland’s Leading Expert on Smoking Cessation. If you aren’t comfortable with that, then be one of Maryland’s foremost experts on Smoking Cessation.

The press will say it in whatever way you give it to them, and that in turn credentials you with anyone that sees the story.

2. Create a One Sheet for yourself. You can find many examples of this on the Internet. Google it, but be sure to use " " around One Sheet. The One Sheet is commonly used for Radio & TV. Not so much for print media. It’s a sort of one page bio targeted to the media.

3. Create a suggested questions sheet. Have about 10-14 questions any interviewer can ask. This helps the interviewer as they really don’t know much about what you do. Have some tough ones on there that challenge you and what you do. If you only put ‘softball’ questions they won’t use it.

4. When you have 2 & 3, send them to the reporters who do stories on the stop smoking ban. Send it with a cover letter offering your services as an expert in smoking cessation who can answer questions for any articles.

5. Start writing press releases now that tie into this story and position you as an expert on Smoking Cessation in Maryland. Use hard facts on the effectiveness of hypnosis and also testimonials in the form of short quotes from your satisfied clients.

6. Send the press releases to every newspaper, magazine, radio, and TV outlet that runs a story on this. When possible, send it directly to the reporter AND the editor/producer. Follow with a phone call. Do NOT ask if the got the press release. Instead DO ask if they have any questions they would like you to answer about the release.

7. Put out the press release on the web. I use PRWeb.com for clients, because the story will get placed in Google news and Yahoo news along side the stories from all major media. This is to attract any reporters who go online to do research for their stories, which virtually all reporters do now.

There are also free services you can use that can get you listed in the search engines. One I know of is PR Leap, but I haven’t used it so I can’t comment on it.

8. If you want to take it to the next level with the media, there are a couple of other resources you can use that cost a bit more.

  1. RTIR – The Radio & TV Interview Report

    These guys put out a magazine of Interview guests that goes to all the top radio & TV producers and talk show hosts in the USA and Canada. It costs $1,400 to be in four issues, and then if you continue you are billed per issue.

    You can choose monthly or bi-monthly for your ads to appear. They provide copywriters for your ad, and coaching on how to be the kind of guest that gets good ratings and invited back.

  2. PR Leads

    They have a unique twist on getting you publicity. Instead of sending out your press releases, they send you leads from reporters who are doing a story on the topic you are an expert in.

    Dan Janal has been in the PR business for decades and has relationships with the major media players. When they are looking for ‘experts’ they come to him first, and then he sends them to you.

    It’s $99/month.

    I know Dan and know him to be a class act. If he thinks you are not a fit for his service, he won’t take your money.

 

ARTICLE MARKETING

You have enough time to get multiple articles listed online. This only costs you the time it takes to write and upload the article. You’ll get listed by keywords in the search engines, so both reporters and prospective clients can find you.

Example Title: How To Survive Maryland’s Upcoming Smoking Ban

The #1 article service is Ezine Articles. Another good one is Go Articles. There are thousands of article sites, but most are a waste of time. Stick to the top tier.

If you article is well written, it will get picked up by bloggers, ezine publishers, and websites that need content on that subject. These become permanent links back to you and your website.

You are allowed to put a ‘resource box’ at the bottom of the article that positions you as an expert and has a link to your website.

BIG IDEA

Contact all other hypnotists in Maryland, and form a group and pool your resources for publicity. Call it "Stop Smoking Now Maryland!" or something similar. Get everybody to pitch in $100 and use that to send out a non-stop stream of press releases from now until the law goes into effect.

Create a web site and have everyone that contributes listed on the site as a Smoking Cessation Expert.

Create a ‘Press Room’ on the site with photos, bios, info on how hypnosis works to stop smoking, contact info (phone, fax, email), and all articles & press releases in PDF format.

BORROWED IDEA

Tom Nicoli came up with a great idea for this years World Hypnotism Day, in which you go to the mayor of your town and have January 4th declared World Hypnotism Day. The Mayor puts out an official proclamation, which you then leverage in all your publicity and marketing materials.

Get your newly formed coalition to get the Mayors to declare February 1 Stop Smoking Day. Then go get the Governor to do the same state wide.

Leverage this in all your materials.

RESOURCES

PR Web – http://prweb.com

PR Leap – http://www.prleap.com

Ezine Articles – http://ezinearticles.com

Go Articles – http://www.goarticles.com

Radio & TV Interview Report –  http://www.rtir.com

PR Leads – http://prleads.com

World Hypnotism Day – http://www.worldhypnotismday.com

Also, see my article on this blog with the Free Press Release Template and instructions on how to write and use a press release 

Expect Success!

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