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.
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.
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 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.
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.