21 killer ideas to get free publicity Free publicity
Free publicity is the number one way to promote your business. Being featured regularly in the newspapers and magazines your target audience reads is invaluable.
Editorial coverage gives you a huge amount of credibility. Itís an independent trusted person talking about your business Ė the total opposite of an advert, where youíre delivering your message.
Getting publicity isnít difficult if you know what you're doing. All you need to do is decide what you want to achieve (more brand awareness; website visits; maybe more sales leads), think up some story ideas, and then submit them to the media as press releases. And keep submitting idea after ideaÖ publicity is a long-term game.
Here are 21 killer ideas you can use to make publicity a major part of your marketing mix;
1. Be the first, the newest, the oldest, the biggest, the smallest: Different is great. Journalists get sent a constant stream of ďaverageĒ all day long - so make sure you stand out
2. Introduce something new or improved: Make it clear whatís better and why, and what problem it solves
3. Mark the passage of time: Has it been a year, 5 years, 10 years since something significant happened?
4. Announce a new member of your team: Doesnít have to be anyone senior, even junior staff can sometimes make the business pages. Pinpoint the thing that made them the right person for the job and publicise that
5. Win an award: Donít just rely on publicity sent by the award organisers, send out your own
6. Win a big contract: Donít be afraid to boast Ė big contracts attract other big contracts
7. React to a current story: Give your opinion on something in the news (national or local) thatís relevant to you
8. Announce other publicity youíve had: If youíve been featured in your trade magazine, tell your local paper. And vice-versa
9. Re-launch your website: Tell journalists whatís good about your new site, and why
10. Offer free information: Free reports like this one are quick and easy to write, and can be incredibly valuable to readers. The years of experience you have in your industry makes you an expert. Journalists and readers appreciate an expertís opinion
11. Give something free to readers: If you have an actual product, give that away. You can use it to drive traffic from the newspaper to your website. Consider an exclusive deal with one newspaper to get more coverage
12. Offer a series of articles: Share your expertise and help a newspaper fill column inches with interesting new content. Donít worry too much about your writing skills, newspapers employs sub-editors to worry about that
13. Survey your customers: Find out what people think about specific issues (related to your business). Ask enough of their target audience, and the newspapers wonít be able to resist
14. Get involved with a charity: Donít just give cash, thatís dull (plus cheque presentation photos are stuck in the 80s). Instead give your time, product, or better still use your staff and resources to do something exciting and different that will also raise cash for an exciting charity
15. Solve a problem: Whatís everyone talking about? What can you do to fix it?
16. Create a problem: Can you make things better by rocking the boat?
17. Do something in a different way: Particularly if itís ďalways been done this wayĒ. Thatís what Richard Branson and Stelios do
18. Spot a trend and comment on it: Turn yourself into a commentator on a specific problem or industry
19. Be anti-corporate: Journalists can get a constant stream of boring, predictable corporate press releases. Be anti-corporate. Donít be afraid to stand out.
20. Be refreshingly honest: If you expose the hidden secrets of your industry, will you get the credit for that? Will you lead the change or follow it?
21. Attempt to set or beat a record: A publicity classic, for a reason. Everyone loves a record attempt. And there are plenty of records to go for. Ensure your record is relevant in some way to your business.