Controversy sells! The mass media loves the curiosity and occasional outrage a good controversy arouses in the general public.
And your local business can legitimately benefit from all that publicity. But you have to be quick with news events, since the story will fade from the spotlight in a few days or weeks.
Here’s a good local business example I came across on Yahoo UK’s news page this morning:
“Silver Skater Won’t Hang Up Wheels” (2011 Update: link unknown.)
It’s a great headline, isn’t it! Along with the picture and video clip of 71 year old Geoff Dornan serenely gliding along a shopping precinct, it makes a compelling story to skim through.
What I found most interesting were the final three paragraphs. Notice that both the owner, Ms Rachael Disley, and her business name “Superfunk Roller Disco” are clearly mentioned.
This is priceless publicity in a national Internet news service and very easy to capitalize on.
How? By following the “local buzz” that this story is generating with a press release that indirectly references it. And then quickly distribute that across the Internet using a commercial online PR news wire.
In this case, an example might be to write a PR all about your “New Roller Skate Training Class For Active Retirees” and highlight how even senior citizens can enjoy the sport in a safe, warm and fun environment – without breaking any council by-laws!
If there’s time, invite Geoff down to launch the class – or even to give the first one! Get some pictures of him (safely) in action and add the PR plus pictures to your website.
(Rachael’s site already has Facebook, MySpace and Bebo links, so the PR could also be spread by social media discussions. Imagine if the youngsters laughing off the “old geezer” on skates linked through to the PR page on your site – where there’s also a discount coupon for 50% off their next session.)
Of course, many PRs don’t always ‘click’ with the target audience and bring hordes of clients with money to spend – that isn’t usually the point of the exercise.
Publicity for your business is why you’re doing this – and if nothing else, the back links generated by all the websites mentioning your PR will, over time, help with search engine rankings for keyword phrases.
– Mark McClure
PS – I’ll write your online press release. We can brainstorm 1-1 on a call and I’ll write the PR – that’s the standard package. For an all-inclusive fee I’ll also do all the work and distribute it online for you. To get started? Contact me.