Why do I need publicity, Jo?

In the world of any product (people, places, and things), publicity is an independent third-part endorsement.

Those who love to write deliver the message to those who love to read and/or listen. It’s that simple.

Why anyone would take the time to create an internal story, then deliver it to the outside world is a function of wanting to get the word “out” (to publicize). “Out” is the operative word in this process.

Stories that are only internal are secrets. If you’re a person with a story and you want others to know about it, if you have a place worth sharing with others, or if you have a “thing” (like wine) that you want the world to find out about it, the story has to get “out” there.
Enter the world of publicity.

Now… if you’re new to an industry, unless you have just invented something that will revolutionize the world, don’t expect everyone to jump all over your story, as there are many in line ahead of you. Also, trust me, you’re not going to attract periodicals and writers who have been in business for a long time. They are not going to jump on something innovate, until it’s proven itself to be credible.

The reason is psychology 101… Rule #1 for a new product, by a major periodical: Do not endorse anything that hasn’t already proven itself, because if it doesn’t make it, your credibility will go down the tubes with the failure.

I’m writing all this because I had a client ask me this week, “Okay, Jo, explain to me why I need all this publicity.” Since I’ve answered this at least three dozen times, I decided to write this answer. It will be easier to have this stored on the World Wide Web, and give people the link in the future, as I try to be efficient with time.
How reviews work is: 80 percent of them (local writers) have a 20 percent impact, and 20 percent of them (national writers) will have an 80 percent impact.

This is because national publications and writers reach a much broader base. It’s imperative to build up the 80 percent local writers first, because this base will in turn make the national periodicals eventually take notice. Once nationals have seen your story in many places, you’ve proven yourself.

There’s no right or wrong with this system… It’s just the way people internalize acceptance of something new.

The adoption process of a new idea happens this way:

Innovators – They’re the first to adopt. They’re eager risk takers. These people tend to be younger and well educated. They also have many contacts outside of their immediate social group, and rely on other innovators for their ideas, rather than sales people. (3 to 5 percent)

Early adopters – They’re well respected by their peers (they are the “Joneses”), and are most likely opinion leaders. They’re probably younger, more mobile, and more creative than most people. They have fewer contacts with the outside world than innovators, and are the ones who are the first to “get” what an innovator has brought forth. (10 to 15 percent)

Early majority – They avoid risks altogether. They cautiously wait to consider a new idea only after many early adopters have proven it to be successful. (They are the ones who are keeping up with the “Joneses”). These are not the opinion leaders, they’re the followers. (34 percent)

Late majority – They’re cautious about new ideas, quite possibly older and set in their ways. They’re less likely to understand innovators, and less likely to follow the early adopters. They need strong acceptance within their own group before they’d ever consider keeping up with the Joneses. (34 percent)

Laggards – They rely on what they’ve always done, and are very suspicious of any new idea. They also rely on other laggards for their new ideas, which means they move at the speed of a snail. (5 to 16 percent)

So, you’re the innovator with a brand new brand. Now you know who to go to, what to “not” expect (instant success), and an inkling of how long it will take to have your brand be more mainstream.

Thank God for the innovators, or you’d never build your brand, and remember, they’re only three to five percent of our population, so happy seeking!

Here’s an example of an innovative product receiving instant success… My great uncle Harold Emerson Clarke of Nobleboro, Maine invented the foot measurer for the U.S. Army during World War II, so soldiers could be processed more rapidly. Is your item that earth shattering? If yes, you’ll need very little publicity, and you won’t need to develop the patience the rest of us have had to.

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