How Image Consultants Use Free Publicity
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Sometimes I run across a group of people who really get it when it comes to publicity.
I’m talking about the members of the Association of Image Consultants International, some of the smartest Publicity Hounds around. Their advice, articles and beauty tips have shown up everywhere from the fashion pages to automotive sections in newspapers all over the world.
By Joan Stewart
The Publicity Hound
Donna Chevrier, an image consultant from Toronto, Canada, for example, has supplied the media with her expert commentary on wearing perfume, the difference between high and low tea, how much eye contact is too much, the protocol of clothes, and what your shoes say about you.
Debra Linquist of Denver, Colorado generated publicity by doing a Valentine’s Day makeover for a couple who met through a video dating service in her city. See Special Report #14: How to Piggyback Your Story Ideas onto Holidays and Anniversaries. She also has offered style tips for tall women, which was a perfect tie-in when interest for a local women’s basketball team was at its peak.
In Australia, image consultant Jon-Michail offered the media his commentary on facial hair for politicians, whether executives should wear ties showing cartoon characters, and the importance of the school uniform in attracting parents to a particular private school. See How to be an Expert Spokesperson the Media Love.
Karen Brunger of Toronto was in the “Wheels” section of her local newspaper, talking about the image of cars and how cars match people. She also was quoted in the financial section three times for stories about the business of shopping, businesses that come to your home and the business of proms.
Keep a sharp eye out for stories that deserve comment. Holly Horning, an image consultant in Washington, D.C., says she reads several papers each day. When she sees a story that’s image-related, she responds to the writer. “That usually gets me in the paper as a follow-up article,” she said.
One example was an article she saw on personal shoppers. “I called the journalist to explain about image consultants and that resulted in a longer article about the difference between personal shoppers and image consultants,” she said. “Also included was a lengthy explanation of Association of Image Consultants International with a listing of all local members.”
She also makes sure she knows when newspapers and magazines are planning their big fall fashion issues. “I then suggest a list of topics that would interest readers, and that usually results in articles on the current hot topics such as business casual and interviewing skills.”
AICI has even taken a strong editorial position on a topic near and dear to the hearts of most women. Several years ago, the group announced it is calling for an end to terms such as figure flaws, figure faults, defects, liabilities and abnormalities--all negative labels implying that something is seriously wrong with most women’s bodies. The fashion editor of Canada’s largest newspaper ran the story below the headline “No More Figure Flaws” and portrayed AICI in a positive light. See How to Use Newspaper and Magazine Editorial Pages.
The AICI is doing fine on its own. But let The Publicity Hound offer a few more ideas worth considering.
Produce your own TV show on your local cable TV station’s public access channel. You have to rent the camera equipment, but air time is free.
Contact local media people and let them know your areas of expertise. Invite them to call on you when they need background, story ideas and commentary.
Create your own holiday, or your own day, week or month of the year. Use it as a springboard to publicity and submit it to Chase’s Calendar of Events, the big reference book that’s often used by the media. Visit http://www.chases.com See Special Report #45: How to Generate National Publicity from Your Own Day, Week or Month of the Year.
Contact columnists at local newspapers and magazines and offer story ideas. Columnists often are overlooked.
Call local radio talk show hosts and offer to fill in for guests who cancel. They will appreciate the offer, and they’ll call on you if they need you. See Special Report #27: How to Get Booked on Radio Talk Shows, Give a Great Interview and Get Invited Back.
Team up with a local department store, clothing store, gourmet food stores and any business where you can teach a class or give a workshop. Invite the media to participate. See Special Report #42: Tips for Letting Reporters Experience Your Story, Not Just Write About It.
Keep your local business journal in mind. Pitch story ideas about you are solving problems in your small business. See How to Use Business Journals to Tell Your Story.
With free publicity ideas like those, you don't have to be an image consultant to present a great publicity image.
Date Posted: 2010-03-05
Posted By: JANE SHONFELD
Listed under these Business Listing Categories: Business services & consultants, Entertainment, Personal Services,
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