How Image Consultants Can Get Free Publicity

AICI West President Gillian Armour, AIC CIP, reached out to Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, to get an update on advice she provided to our membership once upon a time. Not only did Joan update the information in her original article, but she added more links and resources to help us market and promote ourselves. We are deeply grateful for her support and advice.

A bit about Joan – (more at the end of the article): For more than 22 years, publicity expert Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound and a former newspaper editor, has mentored, coached and taught more than 50,000 authors, speakers, experts, CEOs and small business owners how to get thousands of dollars in free publicity and tell their story to the world, without a $20,000 publicist.

Gillian: Years ago, you generously provided AICI with a very helpful article on How Image Consultants Get Free Publicity. In the article you detailed how some of our number got creative with approaching the press to generate publicity for their image consulting businesses. I recently found this article in my files and was struck with how things have changed in the past decade around PR and getting publicity. As you are an expert in this field, I thought I would catch up with you to ask a few questions.

In your original article, consultants interviewed mentioned “contacting the press,” “writing a journalist” or even “piggybacking” on a story they read by responding to the writer. However, with the advent of technology and the online world, most people no longer use print media to get their information.

Have you noticed the change in the work you do? And what advice would you give now about reaching out to get a story told or heard?

Joan: The biggest change is that today, anyone can create their own news channels via a blog, YouTube, a podcast, an electronic newsletter, Pinterest boards, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. This is known as “the new media.”

There’s far less emphasis today on traditional media: newspapers, magazines, radio and TV though they are still important.

Promoting online is a disadvantage for image consultants who aren’t interested in creating a social media presence and sharing helpful content with followers. It’s a huge advantage, however, to those willing to work hard to create a platform and keep in touch with their followers by sharing valuable content, because you don’t have to rely on the media gatekeepers.