Being visible is for the birds – literally

Birds get plenty of attention once a year around Christmas, when up to sixty thousand of their biggest fans spread out across the country to count as many birds as they can, note the species they’ve seen, and record where they were found.

These data are fed into a national database where scientists track species status, status being a marker that indicates bird population health and health of the environment.

Recently, I advised my client Golden Gate Audubon on getting the word out about their Christmas Bird Count. The not-so-obvious question was the objective of the press release – what did they want to get out of media placements?

It may seem obvious, but my client had to think about it: did they want to get people to sign up for the bird count, or were they looking for the media to report on the event after the fact in order to give the organization more visibility? Each outcome would require a slightly different approach to writing and structuring the release.

My client decided that they wanted after-the-fact “stories,” because they had reached the maximum number of registered bird counters even before the press release was written.

They were delighted with the results: The local CBS TV station aired a segment the evening after the count; the San Francisco Chronicle, The Examiner and KGO-TV’s Website ran stories featuring the bird count the day after.

Thinking about the goal or objective of your press release is a disciplined approach to getting publicity. If you think carefully about what you want media placements to achieve for your business before writing your release, your publicity efforts will be much more targeted and effective.

Roberta Guise works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611. www.guisemarketing.com