By Henry DeVries
Would you like to make more money? Have a better sex life? Hang wallpaper without killing yourself? If you have the answers, or at least a few helpful hints, the media will be glad to share them with world.
Consumer tips are the easiest forms of publicity to place in the media. Consider some of these examples.
- Confused about the nutritional information of food labels? The American Diabetic Association in Chicago offers the following tips on beating fat traps. . . (Associated Press)
- The Shell Motorist Club and the National Safety Association have put together a list of night-driving tips. We thought these were good reminders for all of us . . . (Redbook)
- Rub a candle on your window. Throw salt in the fireplace. Pencil your door. Put kitty litter under your car. A few simple tips can same homeowners thousands of dollars. . . (San Francisco Examiner)
- A recent survey of 600 U.S. parents conducted by the Independent Order of Foresters revealed that their first concern is their children’s self-esteem. We all want our children to lead happy and productive lives, and a good self-image plays an important role. Here are some well-tested approached, offered by experts in the field of parent education . . . (Indiana City Press)
Here is a proven method for developing the advice that you need.
- Pretend a reporter is interviewing you for this story. What wisdom would you be sure to include? Write it all down.
- After you have brainstormed the list, cut it down to five to twelve best points.
- Write these up as your industry consumer tips, adding a few words of analysis attributed to your organization’s spokesperson.
Vagabond Inns, a chain of approximately 40 motels in the Western United States, used this strategy to gain national publicity for its 25th anniversary.
Top executives were polled on what secrets they would share with a relative or close friend about staying in hotels. The answers were pulled together in a study called the “Vagabond Inns Insider Report.” Several magazines and a wire service columnist published the information and quoted the hotel chain’s president as the information source.
This exposure was then parlayed into radio and television interviews. An attractive spokesperson purchased several of the latest travel gadgets so she would have something visual to talk about. A television interview show was so impressed that they taped a series of 3 –5 minute travel tip fillers, which they aired and credited to Vagabond Inns for a whole year. Other than the travel gadget and a little time, the cost of this publicity was minimal.
Want an excuse to go bananas around the house? Diane Gage came up with several when she was researching how to publicize a Caribbean restaurant that seemingly uses them in everything from appetizers to entrees to desserts. Several feature stories on the restaurant resulted from a simple news release on different ways to use this appealing fruit.