If you add an interesting little hook or angle to your business—something that ties into one of the seasons, a holiday or a certain time of year—you can generate fabulous publicity and have customers beating down the doors.
That’s what Kevin and Belma Marshall of Granby, Connecticut have done. He’s an accountant and she was a dental hygienist. Ten years ago, they bought a charming 1812 Colonial set on three acres in the historic section of Granby, Connecticut and turned it into a bed and breakfast called the Dutch Iris Inn.
Amenities include fireplaces in the rooms, a homemade breakfast by candlelight, massages, wireless Internet access, and even carriage and sleigh rides.
But the one little twist that has helped the couple reap mountains of publicity is the special “Tax & Relax” package. While you’re antiquing or sipping tea or enjoying a walk in the perennial gardens, Kevin will prepare your federal and state income tax returns (for all 50 states). The package includes one complimentary night of accommodations in one of the guestrooms, and breakfast for two in the morning.
When you leave the inn, Kevin will mail your tax returns within 5 to 10 business days.
Too busy to get away for a weekend in Connecticut? You can still have Kevin do your taxes, and he’ll send you a gift certificate good for one night’s stay, redeemable through the end of the year.
Three years ago, the Associated Press wire service featured the couple and mentioned the “Tax & Relax” package. That led to a flurry of media coverage from CNN, USAToday.com, NYTimes.com, The Wall Street Journal, Budget Travel Magazine, MSNBC.com, AccountingWeb.com, the Boston Herald, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Money magazine, the Hartford Courant, Yahoo.com and on and on.
Many of those stories mentioned that if Kevin prepares your taxes, your trip to the Dutch Iris Inn in is tax-deductible because it qualifies as a tax-preparation charge. This time of year, a story like that is a nugget of gold for a journalist.
“We haven’t done any press releases of our own this year, and much of the business we’re getting is still a result of that original article,” Belma said.
Raleigh Pinskey, who was my guest on a teleseminar called “How to Create the Perfect 30-second Pitch,” says that sometimes tweaking your business, or your pitch, just a little by adding a nugget of information that the media don’t expect, might be all it takes to catch their attention.
Publicity Hounds everywhere should think about one little twist or angle that will make their story irresistible.