The term “cheap publicity” has a negative connotation in today’s world. It’s often thrown at anyone who attempts to get their message out through less-than respectable means. But, as a small business owner these two words should be something you proudly exclaim your desire for. Cheap doesn’t have to be frowned upon.
Cheap publicity can be used to your advantage, provided you don’t treat it cheaply. Many entrepreneurs will neglect their cheap PR initiatives, thinking the low cost makes it low priority. This is not always the case; you may find that the public relations you paid the least amount for yield the highest dividends. So be sure to plan your message and measure your results.
As for some media platforms for cheap publicity- the first and most obvious is what we are interacting on right now. The Internet is a free way to post information, but is a massive sea and your message can easily be swallowed up. Try to select exactly where you want your message to appear. Message boards are a free place to spread information and you can post on sites relating to your business. Say for instance you’re a pirate- well then you can post a message underneath a news article of recent pirate activity and let people know you’re out there pirating just as much as the band of swashbucklers featured in the article.
Press releases are another cheap way to get publicity. The only cost would be if you need to hire a freelance writer, but that can be very affordable in today’s market. Once you have the release written you’ll then want to contact all media sources that would make sense for your organization. Local papers, radio and T.V. stations can be open to profiling a local business.
Cheap publicity is attainable in so many ways today. It can be as simple as a 10-second You Tube video that catches favor with people and in no time breaks a million hits, or even something you didn’t know would get you publicity at all.
Though there are risks to unintentional publicity, some kinds can be great. When I think of unintentional publicity I’m reminded of Patsy’s restaurant in New York, favorite dining spot of Frank Sinatra. The story goes that during a particularly low point for Sinatra, both professionally and personally, he made a reservation for one at Patsy’s on thanksgiving. The owner Pasquale “Patsy” Scognamillo had planned on closing, but honored the reservation; going so far as to host his family at the restaurant so Frank wouldn’t be alone. In later years, with Sinatra back on top, he was fiercely loyal to Patsy’s and on account of the resulting press the restaurant flourished into a permanent New York institution. Which points out one important thing to remember with regards to cheap publicity- you never know where you may find it, so be sure to spread lots of good will.