Karin Hoskin talks with Katie McCamant and Marty Maskall
Fair Oaks Cohousing continues to be in the news, see this latest publicity, a TV spot on CBS Sacramento.
When I asked
Marty Maskall the secret to their promotional success she shared that they've developed relationships with the Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Business Journal, and the publisher of the American River Messenger. They sent them a press release and followed up by phone. "And we had real news -- not just a public presentation" she says.
This success came from lessons by Kathryn McCamant, CoHousing Solutions:
* It has to be real news (purchase/contract on land, planning approvals, groundbreaking, grand opening).
* Many groups get publicity when they first get going, but they are really ready to take advantage of it. Best not to seek it out until you are prepared to take full advantage of any publicity you get.
* Follow up, by phone, again and again! This is where most people drop the ball. If you just fax a press release, don't expect much to come from it. Better if you can a press release to a specific writer that you know covers related topics. Lifestyle section will get you more potential buyers than the real estate section, especially early on. Look for opportunities to build relationships with writers ...they might not cover you now, but they are always looking for stories....so on a slow day....
* Even if you don't get response when you send out PR's, keep it up for future milestones.
* Make sure to play up the local angle....why would their readers be interested? Quotes of local people involved are always good.
* Tie it into local issues....is there a regional discussion about seniors, housing costs, sprawl? How will your project help address one of those key regional issues?
* News plays off other news, so play up any coverage you get by sending it out on all you social media venues, and getting your members and friends to comment on it on the news medias websites. If you can help make sure the story is widely read or watched by spreading it around on your networks, they notice.
* All that being said, its very hard to get news coverage after a group's initial launch and in between real milestones. The fact that a small group of dedicated people have been working hard to launch your community is not really considered news.