Contacting the media with a news story is not the only way to achieve massive exposure for your business and profile. There are tons of other ways to attract media attention and also that of your desired audience directly.
Exposure From A Televised Event
Over the past weekend, the finale of a popular reality television series went to air and a number of related businesses took the opportunity to take part in exchange for the national coverage they would receive. The Block aired weekly episodes where four couples (one of the couples were two sisters) renovated four run-down houses side by side in a popular inner- city Melbourne suburb. Over an eight week televised period, that included challenges, tears and transformations, these run-down hovels became chic executive homes with the stylish furnishings and luxurious additions, including jacuzzis and flat screen TVs.
The series concluded last night with a public auction to determine a winner. While the results of the auction and their reserve prices were hotly debated by real estate media professionals, what I would like to discuss in this article is the publicity opportunities that were afforded to various companies and individuals.
The finale was viewed by a national audience of over 3 million people. While the winning couple walked away with $100,000 prize money, and the television channel a whole lot more presumably, the heavily promoted auctioneers and real estate agencies that were contracted by the couples to sell the homes will be benefiting from the enormous publicity for months to come.
How You Can Do It Too
Thankfully, you don’t need to contend for an expert spot on a national television program to take advantage of this opportunity (although, if you do have the opportunity to apply, by all means do so!). In fact, I have managed to arrange this type of exposure for many of my clients, simply by making a few inquiries. The reason these type of arrangements are so favorable is because organizers of events are usually on a budget and appreciate relevant services and products to make them more cost effective to run. Any assistance usually goes a long way, particularly if it’s offered free of charge or for a greatly reduced rate.
One of my clients was a charity organization that provides services to assist disadvantaged women return to the workforce. They were holding their annual fundraising dinner, and part of the fundraising was, as is commonplace for fundraising events, an auction. They were looking for an auctioneer, so I put them in contact with another client of mine, a local real estate agency Principal who is also an auctioneer, to auction off the various items.
Now, the benefit to the charity is obvious – they received the services of an auctioneer free of charge. But the benefits to the auctioneer and his real estate business were enormous. He had the opportunity to promote himself and his business to all of the (wealthy) attendees of the dinner, so next time they would like to buy or sell a property, they will be reminded of his generosity to a charity that they support, as well as his professionalism, ability and affable character.
You don’t need to be an auctioneer to attract exposure of this nature. Simply find an event or gathering (can be in person or online too) that attracts the same or a similar type of audience you want to reach, and then find a way you can become involved.
Here are some ideas:
- Donate your services (should be related, or of some value, to the event for them to be interested) in return for promotional opportunities to the audience – eg: banners, flyers or other advertising, your name in the program, etc.
- Donate sample products for the delegate/attendees – “goodie bags” – together with advertising material.
- Provide information or a talk relevant to the event.
- If appropriate and you have the time and capability, why not join the organizing committee of the event? This will definitely ensure your profile is built among the community you are hoping to reach.
We are all in business for a reason, and that is to make money (while enjoying ourselves hopefully) so you need to be clear on your own limitations and just what you are willing to compromise for some exposure. Ask yourself the following questions before putting your hand up:
- Am I certain that the audience is definitely my target audience? Do they fit the demographic in regard to income, age, interests, purchasing habits, etc. If the audience demographic is too wide, and the chance of someone fitting your customer description is too few and far between, then you will simply be wasting your time.
- How can I add value to the event and the participants, while promoting myself and what I can do? It has to be a win-win for everyone – if not, you are simply a volunteer or alternatively the event organizers are having to provide free advertising for nothing in return (and are unlikely to agree).
- Do I have the time or can I make the time to give of my services for the exposure?
Making The Most Of The Exposure
Being afforded the opportunity for exposure is one thing, but the most important part, what you do with it, is what really counts.
Firstly, be clear about why you are there, what image or impression you are hoping to give, and what you want to sell. Don’t make the mistake of turning up with five different “hats,” because even if you do have multiple businesses, the audience will become confused. Keep it simple.
Find out what kind of signage, flyers and other promotional material you can provide to the public or put on display, then utilize it! If the event is televised, consider what colors and signage show up well on camera. The organizers should be able to give some handy tips and guidelines.
If the event is a smallish gathering, or even a convention or conference for which the members need to register, there may even be the chance you can obtain their contact details (not to spam them after the event, but perhaps to follow up and give them a special offer or gift because they attended).
Once you have obtained exposure in this way once, make it a regular thing you do. Test it out, try a few different events, or more of the same and see what comes of it. Only continue if it brings leads to your business and you find it rewarding.