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By Denise (McDonald) Dorman

In my initial meeting with a new client, I always ask them to state their publicity goals. Once they’re done spouting “Oprah” and “Larry King” and I’ve gently guided them out of Fantasyland, what they often note is that they’re lacking local and regional publicity. To that I say, “Go national.” If you’re seeking to attract local newspapers, Web and magazine mentions, your national press mentions will draw them in like bees to honey. That’s how it’s done.

A year ago, I had a really interesting client in Northwest Florida named TLM Industries. His company manufactured uniforms with a level of integrity and passion unlike I have ever seen. If a convenience store’s employees were wearing their smocks wide open, exposing ugly concert t-shirts, this manufacturer would take back the uniforms and redesign them so that they were sewn shut in front and had to be worn as pullovers. He carried extra inventory so that convenience stores, who have a high level of turnover and uniform theft, could get a new uniform overnighted for a new employee. He even made shirts up to size 6XL, after his own market research pointed to more plus-sized people working in convenience stores.

This CEO was always in tune with his clients, always finding them unique solutions. His customer service was off the charts. Even better, everything was manufactured within 20 miles of his corporate Florida headquarters—all U.S.A. made. Yes, folks, he was creating jobs, adding revenue to the local economy. Even still, the local press had no interest in him. No interest, that is, until I got him placed into an article in Entrepreneur—three paragraphs in the article were dedicated to TLM Industries. The next thing he knew, two local newspapers and a local business publication were giving him exceptional editorial real estate. Problem solved.

A hair salon in Illinois that advertises regularly with their local newspaper was unable to get coverage. Their story was undeniably interesting. They had raised revenue 35 percent a month for the past quarter. The industry standard for hair salons is about 2 percent. In 2005, they were nominated as “International Salon of the Year.” Unfortunately, these folks are reticent to toot their own horn (which is why people hire horn tooters like me). Once I casually dropped the bomb to their local newspaper business editor that the Wall Street Journal was interested in the salon’s story, the local paper was chomping at the bit to talk with them—they who were already advertising with this paper.

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Denise (McDonald) Dorman is Media Relations Director of WriteBrain Media.
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