Many of you have expressed a need to gain publicity for your company, but aren’t sure where to start, or how to get the attention of the media. Well, here are ten ideas for publicity which are sure to get your brain churning…
1. Capitalize on a trend or event. Think Texas Hold ‘Em poker, Hurricane Katrina or airport security threats. If the media is already talking about it, and you can somehow relate your company or product/service to the subject, create a story idea around it.
2. Hold a contest. The more unusual the better. Don’t just offer a prize giveaway. Relate it to your product or service. For instance, a hair salon could offer a contest to find the “Worst hairstyle in town” and ask that entrants submit photos of their worst hairstyles. Offer the winner the opportunity to receive a free hair makeover.
3. Host a seminar (online or offline). This works particularly well for business media, who are always looking for interesting business events to promote for their monthly calendars. Make sure you describe your event as educational, not promotional.
4. Donate to a cause. If your company has donated a significant amount of money to a nonprofit or is a major sponsor of a charitable event (such as a walk/run or charity ball), media will often mention your name as a sponsor.
5. Leverage client successes (case studies). This works particularly well in trade publications. Talk about your clients’ problem and how your product/service provided a solution to that problem. Many publications actively seek case studies as regular feature stories.
6. Partner with a successful organization. This doesn’t always work, but if you have received the endorsement or have partnered with a large or well-known organization, leverage that relationship by announcing the partnership.
7. Offer a hard-to-beat promotion or sale. Going out of business or relocating and need to get rid of inventory? Mention the sale to the media and you may just get a plug. Try to position the sale around another news story, such as the company’s relocation or expansion.
8. Do something unusual. Think Halloween stores that send employees out in the street in costumes to promote the opening of their seasonal stores. In a small town where something unusual would help you to stand out, you’ll be even more likely to gain coverage.
9. Educate. Conduct a survey for your industry and offer the results to a reporter. Write an educational article and offer the publication permission to print the article. Many trade publications thrive on contributed articles.
10. Announce a major milestone or innovation. Made it to your 10th year or even better — 50th year in business? Host a celebration or simply announce it to the media. Offer to have them interview your very first client or one that has been with you that long. Or if you have sold your one millionth tennis shoe or some other significant milestone, that in itself can be newsworthy.
The sky is the limit when it comes to ideas for promoting your business through publicity. All it takes is a little creativity and soon you’ll be standing out from the crowd.