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How To Manipulate The Media & Get Free Publicity With Creative Marketing Ideas

Got 10 bucks, an hour of time and a creative idea? Because that’s all it really takes to get all the media publicity and exposure you or your business could ask for, all for almost free.

Don’t believe it? I can prove it. This is a story about how I did it, why I did it and the results I got from it. You can do it too. What, you don’t like free publicity for little work? I know you do, read on.

The Setup

I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and I’m a die-hard Cleveland Browns football fan. If you don’t follow football, the team has not been good for close to 10 years with losing season after losing season… the fans stay true, yet at the same time, they get very disgruntled come the end of the season. The Browns had one final home game left in December 2006, on Christmas eve, a horrible day to leave your family to go watch a losing football team in the snow and cold.

The Opportunity

This is key in your strategy to get publicity and attention. You have to focus on what is a “story” to a news person. You have to have the awareness to understand how a news person or show producer thinks. They’re thinking, “What stories are available that are topical and timely and most importantly, interesting?”

Those are the stories they want to cover. So your opportunity is to create a story. You need to figure out an angle about something that gives that reporter a story, and then present it to them in a manner which makes it attractive. It’s not that hard, read on.

What I Did To Exploit That Opportunity

So I asked myself, “what does a reporter want right now?” The Browns are always a huge story here in Cleveland, so I decided that I’d concentrate on them and their final game in 6-days. All I needed was an angle.

The idea came quickly. I’d call for a boycott of the Browns game on Christmas eve. But wait, that’s not good enough. That’s been done before, and a reporter isn’t going to bite on a story that simple unless there’s a hook, or a unique angle to it.

Aha! I thought of a unique, cheap and effective angle. Something that could be done in an afternoon or less.

Here’s Exactly What I Did

1. I registered a domain name called www.fanprotest.com. It cost me $10 at Godaddy.

2. I built a one-page website on the domain and wrote a few paragraphs about how I was calling for a protest of the game on Christmas eve.

3. I recorded a short, unedited, simple computer webcam video at my computer in one take where I wore my Browns jersey and called for the boycott. Here’s the video.

4. I uploaded the video to Google and YouTube (free) and added the video to show on my webpage.

5. I looked up all the local television news stations in town and found their contact emails for stories, and sent off a simple email with a short summary of what I did and a link to my page to view the video.

That’s It. It Took Me About An Hour And A Half Total

I sent the emails off at about 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, and I went back to my regular working day. At 6pm I got in the car to drive home, and at home I was chatting with my wife and playing with my kids when the phone rings, my wife picks up, she looks confused.

She says, “Scott from Channel 3 news is calling and wants to talk to you about some fan protest story?” I hadn’t even told my wife what I did yet, hence the confusion in her eyes.

The Results

The reporter asked to come to my house to film a story about me and my website and idea. I said “when”, and he said, “now”. So less than an hour later, and less than 4-hours after I sent the email, I had a television news crew and reporter in my kitchen filming me for a story. That story then ran that very same night, about 4 hours later, on the 11 o’clock newscast.

You can view the actual story here on the Channel 3 website in video form.

Summary

Why did I do this? To see if I could. Could this be done by anyone? Yes. What did I get out of it? Well, I get to tell you about it here, and I get to prove a point that it’s not that hard to do.

Don’t let your highly paid public relations firm tell you this kind of stuff isn’t possible. The media is begging for you to feed them stories that are interesting and unique and frankly, helps them not have to work so hard. I’m not saying that the media is lazy, not at all. What I’m saying is that the easier and more interesting you make it for them, the more likely it is that your story will be picked up.

Anyone can do this, the key is concentrating on what the media wants and giving it to them. What I do/did is use online media tools and marketing techniques to create unique angles to get attention.

Sales Pitch Alert!!!! – Jim Kukral is currently providing similar type consulting services to customers who are looking for more publicity, sales or leads, or who simply need to find new ways to be successful online. Find out how Jim can help your business.

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30 Awesome Comments So Far

Don't be a stranger, join the discussion by leaving your own comment
  1. Todd
    March 6, 2007 at 12:57 am #

    Cool idea Jim! It is so true…reporters are just begging for this kind of stuff. :)

  2. Leonard Chen
    March 6, 2007 at 10:42 am #

    You know, that’s pretty awesome. Wait a min…we already knew that.

  3. Maki
    March 18, 2007 at 8:38 pm #

    Impressive work, Jim. :)

    I’ve worked in PR before and yes, journalists love it when local citizens take things into their own hands, especially when it concerns a topic that is dear to the hearts of many.

  4. Israel
    November 22, 2007 at 3:54 pm #

    that was pretty cool. did you put up links to your other sites at the time?

  5. You Just Gotta Love It!
    November 29, 2007 at 1:38 am #

    I see that you are the real deal. :-)

    Is there a book or resource of such creative ideas
    that one can twist and make their own for their businesses?

  6. noni benefits
    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 am #

    Hi Jim great idea thanks for your nice information

  7. Freelife
    February 11, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks jim that's great and I am also completely wiling to say that reporters are just begging for this kind of stuff and media also begging that for us to feed them with our stories and written materials in which they are interested.

  8. Freelife
    February 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    Hi, jim thanks for this information keep it up.

  9. freelife
    February 14, 2009 at 1:31 am #

    This really seems to be true as i too heard that journalists usuall y use such tactics for covering attractive stories. They search for such popular events which will have lots of publicity and attention.

  10. Computer Howto
    May 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    journalists love it when local citizens take things into their own hands, especially when it concerns a topic that is dear to the hearts of many.I am also completely wiling to say that reporters are just begging for this kind of stuff and media also begging that for us to feed them with our stories and written materials in which they are interested.

  11. ch lisbon airport
    May 11, 2009 at 7:39 am #

    everybody now wants "publicity",no matter at what cost he got that's "with their mind s creative ideas like helping poor people ,charitable trusts,poor people marriages & many more………..

  12. Tech stuff explained
    May 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    The media is a significant part within our society today and everyday, everywhere people interact with some form of the media one way or another. Due to this continual exposure to the media, its portrayal of issues can influence a society immensely.

  13. used motorcycle part
    May 17, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    While one refers to the "foreign press" in Israel, most employees are local Israelis or Palestinians who are hired for their language skills, access and local knowledge. Sometimes it isn't enough just to monitor only the news stories and critique the media.

  14. Promotional Products
    May 18, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    media has always intirigued me by its ways of manipulating and twisting truths in a coverage. i wish to ask, how does media blow things out of proportion wen a sensational piece of news is uncovered. is giving truth n only the truth 2 difficult fr the media to do? is it necessary for them 2 alter it according to their liking?

  15. Streetwear
    May 19, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    MediaPipe provides services for developers to easily implement different softwares for media manipulation like: decoding, filtering, encoding and even streaming pipelines that correspond exactly to their needs.

  16. Damanjeet
    May 23, 2009 at 6:16 am #

    The title of the article says all. Every organization needs to gain publicity in the market so as to make its base and an impression in the mind of its customers in coming future. Opportunities and threats prevail every time, but we need to make the best use of opportunities. I must say that, with the help of videos, you have made the article much more eye-catchy and interesting.

  17. Free PDF Writer
    May 24, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    Nice post…..Gives you a insight about the marketing and how to sell products to our customers.I believe this is the trust that we need to build up with our readers and our customers…when it to marketing and sales , there has to be trust and mutual responsibility. Nice post…..Gives you a insight about the marketing and how to sell products to our customers.I believe this is the trust that we need to build up with our readers and our customers…when it to marketing and sales , there has to be trust and mutual responsibility.

  18. Free PDF Writer
    May 24, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    I am new to the blog commenting realm. I have always read blogs to find useful information but have recently started leaving comments to build up my linking campiaign. I only leave quality comments on the topic of the blog and I believe what I add to the discussion is useful. However, I have noticed that most of my comments never show up. I wish someone would go into detail about what spamming a blog is. Maybe, I am doing something wrong. I think knowing the rules could be benificial to a lot of people.

  19. Directory submission
    May 25, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Publicity is the basic strategy of all the business organizations. Advertising plays a major role in this process. So, an organization needs to attain a goodwill to sustain the market, all this is done through publicity.

  20. elder abuse training
    May 29, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity.
    Great work Mr Kukral.

    Regards,

  21. Gadget Review
    May 30, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    what jim did can serve as agood example for rest of us who are trying to find an opportunity to work ,, it better that we generate it , rather to wait for it to happen.

  22. sarab
    June 3, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    Very amused to hear that, who doesn't want the media's attention. And lookk just how simple your idea was, i also want to have these kind of experiences myself, lets what future brings for all all of us, nice blog by the way.

  23. Aryz
    June 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    Nice idea to really advertise something, even yourself. Now that's something people should do it they want their voices to be heard. It's also way for some to know that regular people can make a difference.

    http://creditcardquick.com

  24. HO Trains
    June 19, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    Always carry business cards with you. Give them freely and ask permission to leave them in places your target market may visit.

  25. Emo Boys
    August 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    The media is a significant part within our society today and everyday, everywhere people interact with some form of the media one way or another. Due to this continual exposure to the media, its portrayal of issues can influence a society immensely.
    Emo Boys

  26. ade
    August 12, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    This is a great post ! it was very informative. I look forward in reading more of your work. Also, I made sure to bookmark your website so I can come back later. I enjoyed every moment of reading it.

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