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The Crucial Factor That Determines Whether or Not You Get Free Publicity


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Obviously there’s more than one way to get your name in the headlines. You can offer incredible deals or you can do the outrageous. You can discover some new and exciting product or you can be recognized for your services to the community.

But ultimately, after all is said and done, getting good publicity is really about one thing and one thing only. It’s about finding ways to meet the needs of others. With a little planning, you can create a machine that allows you to earn a reputation that can keep you in the news.

It all starts with your product. What exactly do you sell? No, you don’t necessarily sell satellite dishes or web space. That may be the commodity they walk away with, but ultimately, you have so much more to offer. You can offer courteous explanations before the sale, a decent price during and powerful customer support after. It’s the stuff people talk about at the corner. It’s the gossip around the cooler. Everybody wants to know about that one company that offers so much more than the rest, which, by definition, makes it news.

Of course, that creates a serious dilemma. If you’re offering the same product at a lower price, and tossing in more qualified sales personnel and award winning customer support after the sale, you’re obviously cutting deeply into your profit margin. Or at least that’s how it might seen at first glance. But that may not be how the math works out.

Try asking Thomas J. Stanley, Ph. D. He’s made a fortune studying the minds and habits of the self made rich. In his best selling books The Millionaire Mind and The Millionaire Next Door he examines the life and motivations of the truly rich. In The Millionaire Mind he makes a list of the qualities self made millionaires felt got them to the top. A supportive spouse, education, a good, timely business concept and even luck all made the list.

He also included having a quality staff and good contacts. But right at the top of the list, above all else, those who have made it listed overwhelmingly as the number one reason for their success integrity. Offering a good deal at a reasonable price.

It’s about offering a good product and realizing that will attract more new customers. It’ll also bring back more return customers, cutting down greatly on your need to advertise.

It makes for a great news story as well. Think about it. Greedy merchants don’t make the news, it’s the ones that find ways to help others. That guy who single handedly kept the K-Mart store open in California so the firemen and cops fighting the record breaking fires would have a place to go for toiletries and supplies made front page news around the country. And the locals will probably remember the kind of person he is for years to come.

Remember, the press is in the marketing business too. They have readers or listeners that need to be enticed into loyalty, so they can show high demographic counts to prospective advertisers. They’re in the business of telling the world the things the world wants to know.

Which means your bottom line means virtually nothing to them. Telling the world that you’re well on your way to becoming a millionaire isn’t really news. Announcing that you sell diamonds at slightly less than anyone else in town and you’ll hold 30% of the price of each sale made to newlyweds on account for them to use towards their first rent or house payment (provided it takes place within a few months after the marriage) would probably become a headline around the country and get you a flood of free publicity. People around town would start talking about how you had your heart in the right place. And couples would start their shopping at your store.

No, you wouldn’t make as much as the next guy on each diamond sale. In fact, if you assume diamonds are marked up 100% by retailers, (which is actually a low figure), giving away 30% of the final price would actually end up costing you 60% of your profit. Doing it this way, though, can get you much more publicity, free of charge and will buy you millions in word of mouth promotion.

Of course, I sold pieces of the Brooklyn Bridge, which can hardly be considered an altruistic venture. (Get the whole story at ) But in the larger scheme of things it was.

How many people around the world would have loved to be able to say they owned a piece of the world famous Brooklyn Bridge? It wasn’t the fact that I was making money or that I had a product to sell that made worldwide news. It was the fact that I was offering a service at an affordable price that made it something people wanted to read and hear about.

Some businesses fail because they try to make too much too quickly. They busy themselves trying to milk the customer for all they can. If they can stay in business, they obviously have some kind of product others feel is important, desirable or needed.

But these guys invariably end up having to spend large portions of their profit continually convincing their clientele that their product or service is worth purchasing.

If, instead, you can carefully find ways to make a smaller profit on a much larger client base, you can soon discover stability, loyalty and prestige follow in suit.

And knowing you have something to say will have editors and program managers rushing to listen.

# # #

Paul Hartunian is widely considered the world’s leading authority on writing press releases and getting publicity for any product, service, cause or issue. Subscribe to Paul’s free publicity ezine “Million Dollar Publicity Tactics". By going to . Also be sure to check out all the great free publicity resources at his website . Also be sure to read the story of how Paul used press releases and publicity to become the first person in history to really sell the world famous Brooklyn Bridge. You can read the story at . You can reach Paul at (973) 857-4142 or by email at .


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