Each of us, according to the experts, has a measurable intelligence quotient, or IQ. Our IQs set a benchmark of what we should be able to achieve intellectually in life. Many of us overachieve, while others under-perform.
Like intelligence, each business and professional practice has an inherent publicity quotient, or PQ. It is a benchmark of the level of publicity your business sho
e able to attract from the news media, bloggers and social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.
uld bSome people would describe PQ as a company’s innate newsworthiness.
Let me illustrate how this applies.
Put yourself in the shoes of a reporter for your hometown newspaper or local television station.
Two news releases cross your desk on the same day. The first is from a nearby fine lingerie boutique that is holding a fashion show to raise funds for breast cancer survivors. The second is from a State Farm Insurance agent who is alerting you that he welcomes new clients.
Which business do you think has the higher inherent PQ? Fine lingerie or insurance?
I’ve spent more than two decades advising business owners and executives how they can overcome a naturally low PQ and grab more than their “fair share” of the free public media spotlight. Among my list of clients are dentists, plumbers, engineers, accountants, landscapers, truss makers, lighting fixture retailers, and dozens of other PQ-challenged professionals.
Regardless of how intrinsically “uninteresting” their businesses are to journalists and bloggers, I’ve shown low-PQs how to execute a plan to make themselves far more attractive.
I call the process “Buzz Snatching” – which, as the name implies, focuses on getting the public to be thinking about you instead of some high-PQ rival.
(We maintain a Buzz Snatching “fan page” on Facebook that welcomes newcomers.)
Obviously, if you’ve got a high PQ, then flaunt it. Models in fine lingerie are always likely to attract public attention, as my friend, Alicia Vargo, owner of Pampered Passions Fine Lingerie – – knows quite well.
For Valentine’s Day this year, Alicia brought three of her models to 710 KNUS AM in Denver and we hosted an on-air fashion show featuring popular designs. Keep in mind, this is RADIO!
Guess what? The Pampered Passions segment attracted one of the largest listening audiences of the year, demonstrating that high-PQ businesses often can’t help but be popular in the media. To wit, our boring, non-revealing video of the radio lingerie fashion show – which we uploaded to YouTube – has now surpassed 16,500 views. That amounts to incredible free publicity for Alicia and her store!
But the low-PQ State Farm Insurance agent who I mentioned above – the fellow who stands ready to sell you auto, home and life insurance – did much better than our fine lingerie fashion models.
A natural Buzz Snatcher, Justin Aller who runs a State Farm Insurance agency in Lakewood, Colorado, got at least 40,000 to 50,000 people to watch his “commercial” – which in Justin’s case consisted of him driving his Chevy Avalanche into the most congested pedestrian intersection just outside of Coors Field and throwing bags of peanuts to the crowds filing in to watch the home opener of the 2012 Colorado Rockies baseball season.
Justin’s publicity gambit worked brilliantly. To each bag of peanuts that he and his staff tossed to the fans he attached his business card. And lest there be any doubt, he painted his truck from bumper-to-bumper with his name, the name of his agency, its URL (www.camoagent.com), and office phone number.
Justin won an avalanche of exposure for the price of peanuts. Literally. Hundreds of game attendees snapped his photo, posted it on Pinterest and other sites, and tweeted about him. Then thousands more people who were not even at the game learned about Justin from media reports of his Buzz Snatching performance.
Do you think the media would never be interested in what you do or what you sell? Think again. What you may lack in natural PQ, you can more than make up for with creativity and good old-fashioned chutzpah.
Veteran journalist and consultant Dean Rotbart co-hosts a weekly broadcast radio program – Business Unconventional – on 710 KNUS AM in Denver. He also teaches his Buzz Snatching course throughout the year and is available to advise business owners about transforming their low PQs into a publicity asset.