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Media Mixology: Crafting the Perfect Publicity Cocktail

The handcrafted cocktail has skyrocketed in popularity. Thanks in part to period-piece television dramas such as Mad Men that romanticize bar scenes of yore, drinks such as the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac have risen from the recesses of the speakeasy to the drink menu of the neighborhood watering hole. With its focus on precision and detail, the art of mixology has effectively taken taps and brass rails by storm.

From the bar room to the board room, a different brand of mixology is taking place: the meticulously designed publicity campaign. All beneficial and lucrative public relations (PR) strategies are devised like a classic cocktail with an emphasis on industry-standards, creative execution, and an array of unique approaches that parallel the goals — or tastes — of the business or individual. There are many different options to consider when concocting the perfect publicity campaign, but it is paramount to remember that to achieve the desire result, the mix of media must be just right.

Local and Community Print: The Base

This is the heart of any publicity campaign. Like an aged, smoky Rye, targeting print media publications forms the base of your PR cocktail — everything builds off of it. Articles placed in local and community magazines help to establish visibility and lend credibility in your particular field. When you are looking for the proper starting point, look no further than the printed page.

The diversity of readership and focus in the wide-range of print outlets allows for producing audience-specific content across a variety of industries, and it positions you for the best chance of increased name-recognition and profit-margins. While the allure of a television or radio interview can seem enticing — and they do have their place in the publicity mix — your information in local and community print publications offers permanence. A satellite outlet or emergency-broadcast message will not interrupt your expertise.

Broadcast: The Modifier

The purpose of a modifier in a drink, traditionally an additional liqueur such as Vermouth, is to enhance the impact of the base. That brings us to interviews and appearances on the broadcast medium, which work to augment your efforts in the area of print. The modifier will not make your campaign, but it will absolutely enrich it.

A targeted approach with radio and television, such as promoting events and engagements in a geographic area, will provide a spike of PR activity that builds from your local and community print base. Your presence in print has brought your thoughts and ideas to your audience; your presence on their televisions and radios will put a face and voice to them.

Interviews and Op-Eds: The Flavor

The flavoring in an artisanal cocktail truly sets it apart from its traditional counterparts: grenadine, tropical juices, ginger beer. Ingenuity in flavors makes your beverage stand out; and the same is true for your publicity campaign.

Interviews that result in quotes in daily newspapers — local and national — and newsstand magazines bring your personality to the forefront. A controversial or distinct idea in the pages of publications with massive readerships puts your views on wide display, and it helps to establish you as a one-of-a-kind expert in your area.

Op-eds take this a step further. They provide you with a forum to distinguish yourself from your colleagues; imparting a unique opinion or thought-process on your audience can make you a household name for your beliefs. Do not be afraid to push the envelope; professional mixologists take concerted risks to create a name for themselves.

Online Components: The Garnish

The garnish is the icing on the cocktail cake, if you will. You are finishing your creation with a flourish that doubles down on your established base, modifier, and flavors. The PR mix uses print outlets’ online components as a garnish.

Since most, if not all, print media have an associated website, newsletter, or blogging arm, many articles or interviews that appear in print will also be featured online. This achieves a dual-impact for your original piece, as it now exists on computer screens as well as in tangible print, which only helps to extend your reach.

With the advent of our social media society, articles online may garner even more mileage, as sharing pieces deemed particularly informative or valuable has become one of the cornerstones of Facebook and Twitter. You’re only ever a few clicks and shares away from going viral.

The Craft

There are few things as enjoyable as a finely-crafted cocktail. Mixologists at bars across the globe are using their imagination to create innovations-on-ice, using the classics as foundations to bring about something entirely original. The media mix for a publicity campaign should adhere to the same process: an emphasis on time-honored local and community print placements, a boost with broadcast media, and heightened name-recognition with interviews and op-eds. Top off your campaign with online features and exclusives and you have the mixture for the perfect publicity cocktail.

Your hand-crafted PR strategy just may make you the toast of the town.


Russell Trahan is president of PR/PR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in positioning clients in front of their target audience in print and online. PR/PR represents experts of all kinds who are seeking national exposure for their business or organization. For more information, contact: PR/PR,

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