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Generating Publicity

A business-English activity

This article is by Company Class teacher Ivan Garth. First: study the vocabulary in this activity: Generating Publicity Matching Español (with Spanish translations). Then, listen to the text in this activity and put the words in the order that you hear them in: Generating Publicity WebSequitur.

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After that, read and listen to the article in this interactive activity: Generating Publicity Cloze. Finally, take this short Generating Publicity Quiz.

If you prefer, simply listen and read the text below:


According to Al and Linda Ries in their book "Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR" the importance of PR is changing and they argue that PR has become the most effective way to build a brand. Well-known brands like Body Shop, PlayStation and Harry Potter spend very little on advertising, yet their brand awareness is huge.

So, what can we do to generate publicity?

Well, you can put yourself in hands of professionals and depending on your needs and characteristics choose the type of PR agency that best fits you. Lilli Cloud, founder of Cloud Communications explains in BusinessWeek (Business Week) that there are four types of agencies:

- The Big Agency
- The Small Agency
- The Boutique Agency
- The Independent Consultant

In this article she explains the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.

However, if you are more adventurous here is a quick seven step guide to start generating publicity for your company or project:

STEP 1: Determine your target - make a list of all the publications, radio stations, TV channels you want to reach.

STEP 2: Develop a database of contacts - Decide in which section the news you will generate best fits in and find out who's the primary editor or reporter of this section.

STEP 3: Determine the story - brainstorm ideas on possible stories and bring this down to around 12 topics which can keep you going for at least 1 year. Make sure the story is news and not just promotion.

STEP 4: Write the press release - Study a few press releases on similar topics and write a short story using a similar style, this will increase the chances of it getting it published.

STEP 5: Send the press release - here the importance of step two and developing a good database of contacts.

STEP 6: Other uses for your press release - publish it on your Web site, mail it to customers and prospects, place them on handouts and fliers, etc.

STEP 7: Develop relationships with contacts - dedicate time to improve your relationships with those that decide what gets published, this will increase the likelihood of generating publicity.

These seven steps are developed in more detail in Al Lautenslager's article on


Practice the vocabulary: Generating Publicity Matching

PR (Public Relations) - relaciones públicas
- argumentar
brand - marca
advertising - publicidad
brand awareness - notoriedad de marca
huge -
- exposición mediática
that best fits you - el que mejor te encaje
adventurous - aventurero
target -
reach -
news -
find out
- enterarse
bring this down to around - reducirlo a aproximadamente
keep you going - mantenerte
press release -
nota de prensa
- publicado
customers - clientes
- clientes potenciales
handouts - folletos
fliers -
improve -
likelihood -

Ivan Garth - Business Talk
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