Can We Learn Marketing and PR Tips from Real Housewives of Reality TV?

by WordWrite Staff, on Feb. 18, 2013

Marketing word cloudI admit it. I watch reality shows. If there is a housewife in a city or an attractive 20-something looking to find love, you will most certainly catch me watching one of their shows after my kids are peacefully snoozing. I am drawn to the stories of these “characters.” Each show is infused with so much drama, even my husband walking through the room is sometimes sucked in asking questions like, “why is she crying?” or “is he really going to pick her?” My favorite shows are the ones where a character isn’t shy about sharing their point of view—even if I don’t agree with it. I like the reactions they get and enjoy watching the drama unfold. So, it got me to thinking, can you apply the magic of reality shows to help market your business? 

If you have a B2B company that tests water and ground areas for the mining or energy industries, you might consider ways you can market your services by taking a stance on issues impacting the industries in which you work. I chose this example because there is no shortage of articles on environmental issues and certainly many varying opinions. 

The reality in business today is that wishy-washy just doesn’t cut it.  You must have an opinion and be willing to share it in meaningful ways, otherwise you’ll blend right in with every other company doing the same work you’re doing. This is not to suggest you act sensational or flip tables when you don’t agree with something. (Note my reference to a certain NJ housewife?) But, you have to take chances, show your personality and be willing to peel back the curtain a bit on your business. Here are three ways you can demonstrate your credibility by taking a stance:

1. Write an opinion editorial or letter to the editor.

Any businessperson worth their salt follows news related to their industry or of their clients. At WordWrite, we don’t just follow news about the PR industry, we stay up-to-date on health care issues, manufacturing news, energy-related happenings and news impacting the service industry (accounting, legal, etc.). One look at our “war room” will show you the wide variety of material we monitor on a daily basis. If you are doing the same, chances are you frequently see articles that you don’t agree with or are missing some important information. Why not send a letter to the editor sharing your thoughts? Do you have an issue you are passionate about and want others to hear your point of view? How about contacting your local paper or industry publication about opinion editorial opportunities? Sharing your opinion helps position you as a credible expert source, which could lead to future media opportunities. 

2. Newsjack.

Newsjacking is the process of injecting your opinion into a breaking news story. Done correctly, you position yourself as an expert or additional source at a time when reporters are quickly looking to add content and differing angles to their story. Marketing and PR expert, David Meerman Scott wrote a book on the topic: Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. In it he provides tips for how to use this method to position you ahead of your competition. 

3. Create your own content.

Even the housewives have their own blogs and social media channels. Inevitably, what they post to their respective channels becomes fodder for the television show—and well, drama usually ensues. As a business owner or industry expert, you can use blogging to share your thoughts and opinions—not to create drama but to position yourself as an expert. Blogs are also an easy and effective way to keep your website content fresh, which ultimately helps with your Google ranking. Be sure to optimize your post with industry keywords so that your post is found when people are looking for the very information you posted. 

As author, speaker, strategist and innovator, Nilofer Merchant, wrote in a recent post on LinkedIn, Having a Point of View, “in life, it is to know what ideas you are fighting for. When you know yours, it magnetically attracts resources to you: you find your tribe, get the opportunities presented to you, and so on.”

So, perhaps we can all learn a few lessons from popular reality shows—take a stance, be bold and share your opinions and ideas to build your brand. Otherwise, you risk blending in with everyone else. There certainly is a reason you can’t find “Boring Housewives of Pittsburgh” or “Couch Potato Bachelor” on TV.

Topics:public relationscommunication lessonspr strategy
Hollie Geitner-wordwrite-headshot-1
Hollie Geitner
Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador

Hollie Geitner is Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador at WordWrite Communications. You can get in touch with her via email at hollie.geitner@wordwritepr.com or follow her on Twitter at @JustHollieG.

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