When Tom Holubowicz wanted publicity recently for his custard stand in Grafton, Wisconsin, he donned an ape costume and visited the local Pick ‘n Save supermarket to buy bananas for Monkey Pox, his “flavor of the day.”
The recipe calls for bananas, custard and chocolate-covered peanuts.
Before he left, he called The News Graphic, his local weekly newspaper and told them it would make a great photo op.
The result? Two black and white photos on page 3 of last week’s issue, one showing a big hairy ape reaching for a bunch of bananas and another showing the ape at the check-out counter.
The 6-by-9 inch package of photos cost him nothing. Even better, he sold out of Monkey Pox a few days later, as a result of the publicity. If he had bought an ad the same size, he would have paid $627.48 for it.
Which of the two do you think readers would remember–the photos or a paid ad?
Are you pitching photo ideas to your local newspapers and magazines? If not, you’re letting lots of publicity opportunities slip through your fingers. The next time a creative idea strikes, call the photo department of your local newspaper and pitch it.
Weekly newspapers, in particular love these photos because local news is their bread and butter. Dailies, on the other hand, also use stand-along photos, but the amount of editorial space in those paper is shrinking drastically because of fewer advertisers.
In my in my ebook “How to Use Photos & Graphics in Your Publicity Campaign,” I explain that this particularly well if you call an editor or reporter and pitch an idea for a story, and they say no. Photo desks love it when readers call with ideas for photos because photographers are under immense pressure to produce great stand- alone photos.
If you live in the Milwaukee area, join me April 22 for a daylong workshop where I’ll share hundreds of tips like this one, and teach you how to write and distribute press releases online. I’m speaking to the Shorewood Business Improvement District. Learn more about my publicity workshop in Wisconsin.