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How to Generate Free Publicity

The more times your business is mentioned in the newspapers, the better, as long as the publicity is positive. Positive publicity translates into more customers and increased sales; it's money in the bank. But to get this kind of publicity, your business has to be newsworthy, and you have to blow your own horn.

Editors and reporters are looking for stories. If you want free publicity, you have to capitalize on events or create events that editors and reporters will find newsworthy.

For example, the fact that you've relocated your business isn't a story; it's just an event. If you want your business featured in the papers, you have to come up with the angles that make it a story. Capitalize on the event by tying your business' move into increased economic development for the community, or by holding a grand re-opening party for the public, and you've got a story that the newspaper might be interested in - and possible free publicity for your business.

However, reporters and editors are busy people. They may not have or take the time to discover your story themselves. You have to let them know about it. Give the newspaper's business editor a call, or send the appropriate reporter a press release. Make sure that you give plenty of lead time if your story is relevant to a particular date or time frame.

If you're operating a service business, events such as grand reopenings and special sales may not work well for you. But you can still benefit from increasing your profile in the community. Many businesses, for example, sponsor charity events, or contribute to non-profit, charitable organizations in their communities.

Other businesses generate publicity by offering the public free seminars or giving demonstrations. There are a lot of do-it-yourselfers out there who are interested in everything from working with stained glass through winterizing their vehicles. If you have the appropriate facilities, this can be a great way of drawing new business and getting your business featured in the newspapers.

There are all kinds of ways that you can bring your business to the attention of the community, but positive publicity is one of the most valuable. If you don't have time to generate positive publicity about your business, you can hire a public relations firm.

From Susan Ward


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