Jessica Hatchigan’s How to Be your Own Publicist is an invaluable resource for anyone who owns a business or wants to promote themselves in some capacity. Written for the novice, Hatchigan’s work is intelligent without being technical or obscure. Her prose is extremely readable (it took me barely any time to read her work, which is a good sign), and her content is filled with practical examples and additional resources for managing news and generating publicity around your venture.
Hatchigan’s work, though, was most beneficial for expanding my “marketing horizons.” For programs or people on limited budgets, publicity can be an easy, effective way of getting the word out about your product or service. News stories, after all, are free, but crafting the story in such a way as it (a) is news-worthy and (b) reflects positively on the product or business is an art. Hatchigan’s work explains the techniques and tools professionals use to create “news” for their programs.
While Hatchigan focuses on disseminating information through traditional news outlets, much of her content applies to blogs as well. I have been a part of several attempts at using blogs to generate interest around events, and several times they have fallen flat because there was no “news” to link to. While crafting “press-releases” doesn’t seem an effective way of reaching bloggers, Hatchigan’s principles about how to capture an audience through writing are clearly applicable. What are these principles? For those, you should read the book. I did, and no doubt will return to it often in the future.