Everyone loves free, helpful information. Your customers and clients are no different.
So why not create a free hotline where they can call and ask a question about how to use your product or service? Or suggest a product or service they’d like to see you offer. Or get a helpful recorded tip of the day. Or ask you a question about a particular dilemma they are facing, and hear a quick answer from a real live human being.
Hotlines keep you in touch with your customers and might even give you the chance to sell them something they need. Because the hotline is free, the media will be more inclined to give you free publicity because of it. You can even tell reporters you’d be willing to share with them from time to time the top five questions people are asking, to tip off the media to emerging trends you are seeing.
Every November, I see lots of print and broadcast coverage about the
Butterball hotline, designed to help even the most inept cook bake the
perfect bird. Butterball gets fabulous publicity by telling reporters about the most outlandish questions it receives such as “How do I turn on the oven?”
Hotlines are great for non-profits and government agencies, too. You can use hotlines to encourage people to file consumer complaints. Or to get more information about frequently asked questions. Or to access tips related to a particular holiday or season of the year.
If you work at a non-profit, particularly one that’s strapped for cash, Paul Hartunian has great suggestions on how to stretch your publicity budget as far as possible. “Fail-proof Publicity Tips for Your Non-Profit” is a recording of a teleseminar we conducted. Read more about the helpful tips Paul shares, including how to save time and money when writing news releases.