Sensational Free Publicity

June 27, 2014 by  
Filed under blog

I have a few more thoughts on the idea of “Free Publicity”. I have this incredible story of how I ended up on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer nearly for free due to a simple marketing gimmick. That front page article got me a huge boost in sales for the book I was promoting then showing just how impactful media exposure can be for your business.

This all started when I talked my way on to a small radio show for a very short interview. Before this though, I had come up with a unique way to market my book. It was simple and very effective but not nearly as effective as when I had that radio audience.  Being on that radio program for even the short time I was turned my marketing trick into a much bigger push than I ever imagined I’d have from it.

On the air, I said that the next day I would be at the main downtown square of Philadelphia giving away money! That’s right I told the listeners that there would be “free money” given away the next day at noon. You see, what I had done previously with mediocre results was to put a one dollar bill in an envelope with the words “take this 1 dollar bill and add 9 dollars to it and buy my book How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You from your local book store or via mail”. Prior to my Philadelphia experience I had limited results with this little gimmicky marketing idea but that all changed the day after the interview.

When I got to the town square I was shocked to see something like 600 or 800 people jammed into that small space. Nevertheless, I began handing out the envelopes, which caused a huge rush toward me, so much so that I was scared that I might be crushed. I then began throwing 5 or 10 envelopes at a time as far from me as I could. It all turned into a mad circus and then suddenly I was being escorted by 2 policemen into a retail store and out the back door. The policemen were very nice and explained that I was causing a near riot and they were afraid someone would get hurt.

I was very upset and went back to my hotel thinking that I had failed, since I had only given away maybe 200-300 envelopes which would not help my book sales by much. But the next morning I was shocked  and elated to see my picture on the front page with me in the middle of that huge crowd as I was flinging the dollar filled envelopes into the air. Wow! My book sales spiked and I was a very happy camper.

I got all that publicity and that huge bump in books sales for a truly tiny amount of cash. And all that came from some pretty simple steps. Bottom line lesson here is, if you want free publicity, use your creative brain to come up with unique stories or ways to approach the media and/or your marketing methods. In this age of viral videos and social networking, it isn’t too hard to get something exciting to make the rounds. You just need to be sensational and unique so as to grab the public’s attention and imagination. What do think that would be for what you want to promote?


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