21 Ideas for Hot Press Releases – Part 2

You can see part one of this article here…

You can see part three of this article here…

Hot Publicity Idea #8: Charity

How can you tie in your business to a charity? Maybe you’re the sponsor of the newest charity fundraiser. You may have closed your office early to have your staff all help out the charity. You may be hosting a special charity sale for an entire weekend. All proceeds from the sale go directly to the charity. Perhaps one of your lead generating products is being sold with all profits from that sale going to charity all month. The grocery store could donate food for the homeless shelter. Maybe you’re appearing at the new charity fundraiser where you’re giving away free massages.

Notice how you can work with charities again here in publicity. Last week we discussed working with charities on joint ventures. Anytime you setup one of these deals, you need to contact the media about it. They can help drive the success of your deal. The “halo” effect of the charity you’re working with becomes doubly effective when the media begins talking about it.

Hot Publicity Idea #9: Contests

Run a contest. Give away a car. Give away a free $2,000 package. Give away a gift certificate worth $500 off anything you offer. Come up with something for a contest and then run it. Your contest could be a simple sign-up, but that’s a little boring for publicity. How about a pick the score of the upcoming high school basketball game contest (that’s tying into local news)? Run a “Dumbest thing you’ve ever done with ____” contest. If you sell cars, this could be the dumbest thing you ever did with your car. Or you could run a, “Name the New Burger” contest. If your restaurant just released a new monster burger, you could have people give you the best name for it. You pick the best name and give them a prize.

Radio programs are always giving away prizes. You could offer your product or service as a prize they can give away. It gets you free publicity on the air while taking advantage of the contest interest. This is an easy way to run a contest, but it has one big weakness to running your own contest. You don’t get to collect all the leads. You get the mention, but not the follow-up.

Hot Publicity Idea #10: Events

Are you having a special event? Maybe Friday night will be kid’s night and a magician will be in your restaurant. Rent costumes and let all your employees play dress-up for the day in your retail business. Try to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for something. Let someone else try to earn a spot in Guinness at your location. Hire a band. Hire an Elvis impersonator (or some other impersonator). Create the world’s largest taco, cookie, hot dog, or hamburger. Hold a free advice day at your business.

Most business people are boring. Come up with ways to make buying from you an experience or an adventure. You don’t want to compromise your integrity or your business image, but you do want to be interesting. If your business isn’t fun, then you’re not doing something right! Some people are wound up so tight they haven’t had an interesting idea in decades. Be willing to be different. If you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else!

Hot Publicity Idea #11: Awards

Create an award to give away. It could be the “Best Teacher in New Castle, Indiana” award. It may be an award for a police officer or fireman/woman. It could be the Hero award for someone who’s rescued someone (great way to tap into local news again). Maybe it’s an award for the fittest person in the city. How about a, “Most Inspirational” award? How about an award for the person who has done the most to help the poor or homeless in your area? There are numerous awards you could come up with (both serious and humorous).

The publicity can be generated in multiple ways. Maybe you need people to sponsor someone for the award (contest). That needs to be in the news. Then once you pick the award winner, you can have a ceremony (event publicity). Give them a prize which will help them and identify with your business. You could even turn your award into an annual event where you pick a new individual each year. Reward someone for good work while building your business.

Hot Publicity Idea #12: Human Interest Story

This is one of my favorites. Do you have a strong human interest story? Did you start with nothing and build a successful business? What caused you to start the business you’re in? Did a salesman inspire you and you have to go into their field? Maybe your mother or father did what you do, and you’ve followed in their footsteps. Has your business been in your family for 3 generations? Tell the story.

Did you come to America to start your business? Did you overcome a childhood disability? Were you orphaned as a child? Is there anything you’ve overcome in your life? People love a “Rocky” underdog story.

I didn’t keep it a secret that I delivered pizzas for Little Caesar’s before I first started my very successful Internet business. I started with nothing back in the day before anyone knew you could earn a profit from the Internet.

Everything I built was through simple trial-and-error of what worked…and what didn’t. It’s an interesting story whenever I tell it. People are excited to learn I didn’t come in with a business degree. I didn’t graduate college. I didn’t apprentice to some successful marketer. I delivered pizzas. Then I became a success on the Internet. It’s a human interest story.

Maybe you can’t come up with an exciting story of your own (or you’ve already used it to death). Do any of your clients have an interesting story to tell? Are they using your products or services in an unusual way? Have you helped them overcome anything in their lives? Who in your client list has a story to tell? How can you help them tell their story while creating publicity for your business? If none of your clients has a story either, then you definitely have a boring business and life.

Hot Publicity Idea #13: Solutions to Problems

Running a business is all about finding problems and solving them. This is a more straight approach than many of the other methods. You tell the problem and the solution to the problem. Many non-fiction book authors use this simple model. Their book explains how to solve a problem in your life. Then they discuss this problem and solution in press releases, interviews, and articles.

What problems do you solve? What problems have clients recently presented to you that you’ve helped them solve? Are there any “interesting” problems you’ve ran into that you’ve solved? Have you seen any problems discussed in the media lately that you know how to solve? I’m going to beat the rule into you over and over again until you’re moaning it in the middle of the night, “What’s in it for me?” What problems does the media’s audience currently have, and how can you or your business solve those problems for them?

Hot Publicity Idea #14: Niche Your Solution

The last idea was simply to find a problem and solve it. Now we’re going to do the same thing, but we’re going to get specific. For example, chiropractors solve problems with pain. This publicity idea is for them to go after people who have tennis elbow. Or they could focus on runners or bike riders. Or they could just target people with migraines. Or they could focus on children. The essential idea behind this method is you take the overall problems you solve and you niche them to be more specific.

I could take some of my information and niche it to just one business industry. The real estate agent could niche to only discussing condos in their press release. The car dealer could niche to only discuss people with credit problems. The carpet cleaner could niche to discussing home with dogs. Or they could talk about homes with smokers who have children. The women’s clothing store could talk about their executive women’s special day. The men’s clothing store could talk about their niche just for managers.

Any of the ideas given throughout these tips can be niched into a more specific sub-section of your clients. You may only have one or two press releases you do that target this niche, or you might make it your overriding publicity goal. Send out a release or two and see how the project turns out. If it’s wildly successful, run with it. If it only produces meager results, try something different.

That’s what makes publicity so exciting. You can test an idea for less than $100 (try to start any normal business for $100). And you’ll know quickly whether the idea is a winner or not.

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