Use a news "hook" to promote your business

Use a news "hook" to promote your business

It’s easy to get free publicity. Want your face on the front page or the TV news? Just get busted doing something dastardly and illegal. Your handcuffed “perp walk” will get you LOTS of media attention — and bring smiles to your competitors’ faces.

There are better ways to do it, of course.

Even if you haven’t done anything newsworthy lately, you can often piggyback your way into the spotlight. Hitch your wagon to something that’s already there.

Look for news, trends and other newsworthy content. Then show reporters, editors and TV producers the connection between what’s in the news and what you do.

Write it up in a well-crafted and targeted news release. Guy Kawasaki gave a great example in his blog the other day.

A research company did a survey of white-collar workers, and found that 81% believed that casual dress improved morale. 47% believed it increased productivity. About the same number considered casual dress an attraction, a reason to go to work for a certain company.

Now ask yourself: What kind of company could benefit from making sure everybody heard about this study? If you guessed the makers of business casual clothing, you are correct. As the Apple evangelist and author of The Art of the Start explained:

“When Levi Strauss (makers of Dockers) found out about the study, it let thousands of publications know about it. The company also even put in a toll-free hotline to help companies implement a casual dress standard.”

A small effort, relatively speaking, for a potentially huge payback.

The lesson: You don’t always have to be the one making headlines yourself to get your (or your company’s) name in the media. Reporters are hungry for good content. Keep your eyes peeled, especially in your industry’s trade journals and other less-read publications, for news, trends or surveys that you can piggyback to get your name in the news.

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