Sensational Free Publicity

June 27, 2014 by  
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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?

BE YOUR OWN PR AGENT–How To Easily Get Free Publicity

June 20, 2014 by  
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On my June 7th blog entitled “Write your way to Credibility” I talk about how writing a simple book and using that book as a business card gives you instant credibility and believe me that has worked wonders for me for many years.  There is another easy “trick” that anyone can use to get tons of free publicity. I learned this lesson from my father, Dr. Edwin O. Haroldsen, who was a great man that came off a farm in Idaho to not only get his PhD but went on to be a big time newspaper man and editor of the national magazine U.S. News and World Report.

I began to learn this “trick” (or lesson) when I was just a kid.  I would go with him to his newspaper office frequently and observe all the hustle and bustle of the writers and editor as they worked away with the noise of the teletype machines in the background.  It was during these times he told me that editors and writers of newspapers, magazines, T.V. and Radio were always on the lookout for good stories and like most people they would like these stories done the quickest and easiest way possible.  He then told me about the “publicity people” that are hired by big companies and celebrities and very wealthy people, but he then said you really don’t need these people because you can do the job yourself.  You do just what they do–you write up a story, your story of success or what’s happening around you that is interesting and unique, and you send it to the media—papers, magazines, TV and radio.  In other words you help out those writers and editors by doing some of their work for them and delivering the story all packaged up and ready to run.  Editors love a good unique, interesting and well written story because it saves them a ton of time.  If it’s a good story they only need to make a few edits to then, bingo, your story appears in print or on the air!

“Really?” you say, “It’s that easy?” Yes, I am saying exactly that!  No, it doesn’t work every time so it’s smart to send to multiple newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. But, most importantly you better have a good intriguing, well written story. This can take some time as a well written story will take some time and re-writing.  Re-write it over and over until it’s not only exciting and appealing to you but will also be for other people. Find a few people whose opinion you trust and ask them for their honest feedback—if they find it exciting, editors will too.

I’ve used what my dad taught me many times and had my business and personal stories on the front page of local and national newspapers and yes, even on national TV! These stories increased my credibility but also my business and profits by huge numbers and all that for free. You can do the same thing to enhance and increase your business, a new invention or idea of a product you may have or for your family or your favorite charity. Give it a try!