Every month or so, it seems, we’re hearing one more story about how somebody committed a crime with help from Craigslist.
In March, a New York City prostitute was killed after meeting a client on the world’s largest classified ad bulletin board.
Two weeks ago, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a 15-year-old Wisconsin girl who ran away from home sold sex acts in Milwaukee to men who found her ad and photo on Craigslist. And on it goes.
Regardless of what you’re selling or promoting, don’t let the bad publicity sway you. Craigslist remains a popular home for the kind of news Publicity Hounds want to promote: business services, events, classes and workshops, sewing circles, dog shows, arts and entertainment, public service announcements and more. Post regularly to the Craigslist nearest to your city.
If you live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest list is in a small city, that’s OK. A Q&A in The New York Times last year called “Here are the Answers to Your Craigslist Questions” featured Jim Buckmaster, the CEO of Craigslist, and Craig Newmark, the list’s founder. They said you don’t have to live in big cities to get lots of exposure on Craigslist.
“Surprisingly, postings to smaller markets like Des Moines often get more page views than ones in large cities where there are more postings competing for attention,” Buckmaster said.
If you are unfamiliar with Craigslist, or even if you’ve been posting for several years, it’s best to read the rules before you post again.
Nancy Mills, a Craigslist expert who shared tips on how to use Craigslist for publicity during a teleseminar I hosted, said the rules often change without warning, and if you don’t know what you are allowed to post, and where, you can get kicked off the list.
As for critics who abandon Craigslist because of the bad publicity, that would be like me closing up my business, which is almost exclusivly Internet marketing-based, because the Internet has a dark and dangerous side. That won’t happen.