Press Releases Gone Wild

When you go to sleep at night, do you dream of a frenzy of new customers all clamouring to buy your product(s) or service(s)?

Do you get a rush of adrenalin when you see your sales double, triple, or skyrocket even more in a single day?

Press releases can turn your wishful dreaming into prophetic profits come true! You just have to dare to think BIG… and let your inner eccentricity shine! There’s a reason people rolling in money are often called “eccentric millionaires!”

Eccentric millionaires just don’t do things in the “normal” way. They catch people off guard. They make them laugh. They generate buzz…. the kind of buzz that goes viral on social media channels and catches the fancy of traditional media outlets like newspapers, radio stations, and community magazines.

While we can’t give you an exact formula for creating profit smashing press releases, we can give you some tips that will get your creative juices flowing, and thus help you come up with your own original profit boosting ideas!

Publicity Stunts Coupled With Press Releases

One of the most beloved TV programs of all times was “I Love Lucy” starring the always zany Lucille Ball and her loyal side kick Ethel, played by Vivian Vance. Who can forget season 3, episode 23, when Lucy and Ethel become so desperate for money to pay off a charity pledge that they take jobs dressing as female Martians from outer space, pretending to capture an American man atop the Empire State Building! It was a publicity stunt aimed at promoting a new movie, “Women From Mars!” Can you imagine the press releases that would have followed:

“Martians Invade NYC and Capture Man On Top Of Empire State Building!”
“Lady Martians Stronger Than Superman Attack Man in New York City!”

How are those for eye-catching press release titles? Do you think people would read them? Do you think the traditional media would have fun with them even knowing full well they are just a hoax?

Can you imagine it?

Martians from the red planet suddenly invade your store slashing prices with a red tag sale to end all red tag sales! You submit a press release that tells of the event with quotes from customers who were fortunate enough to witness the event and brave enough to stay and get the deal of a lifetime!

Can you imagine it?

Your website background suddenly turns bright purple for 6 hours, 6 minutes, and 6 seconds because your server is hacked by intelligent life forms two galaxies away that are trying to make contact with your customers! This of course happens to coincide with a new communication product you are launching and these alien intelligent life forms want to voice their opinion about it. They have no language but purple is their way of expressing their admiration.

Can you imagine it?

You break the news that a gifted twelve year old girl from New Zealand has learned how to communicate with humpback whales! And…. nine days later, what are these barnacle laden globetrotting creatures saying about your new resort on Vancouver Island? What do they say about the snorkelling trips you offer in Fiji?

Spreading Rumours and Innuendo

You can kick your publicity stunts up several notches by using good old fashioned rumour and innuendo… and then just let the human imagination take over!

Suppose you run a Bed and Breakfast near a lake in Ontario, Canada. Some of your guests hear weird bellowing noises in the darkness of night. They come to breakfast groggy eyed and spooked telling of these eerie sounds that seemed to come from the direction of the lake. It turns out that other guests, a newlywed couple on a moonlight stroll, got spooked too when they saw dark shadow in the lake a couple of nights earlier. The guests start to feed off each other and the eerie sounds and darkened shadows grow into a spookier story with each telling!

What an opportunity!

Why not write a press release:
“Has a Loch Ness Monster Been Spotted In a Lake Near Ontario?”

A good press release always contains at least one or two quotes. Why not interview your spooked guests and simply ask them to describe what they heard or saw? You could also interview an “expert” who can interject a bit of validity to the rumour you are spreading!

Could there be a remnant population of anachronistic “loch ness beasts” that migrated from the Scotland Highlands to the Faroe Islands, then to Iceland, on to Greenland, and then entered the Hudson Bay through the Hudson Strait? Is this theoretically possible? Is it plausible? These are less populated areas and the creatures could have gone undetected for decades… or even kept secret by small communities not wanting to be bombarded with news reporter! You could even interview a scientist who believes that “plesiosaurs” like the loch ness monster could thrive in both fresh water and salt water.

In the press release, let other people tell the story… you just need to piece it together!

Suppose you run a pet store or an online pet supply store. You have an elderly woman who swears her dog knows what she is thinking. She gives all kinds of examples. For example, if she thinks about her feet being cold, her dog goes goes and gets her wool socks and brings them to her. One day when she was craving pretzels, her dog brought the pretzel bag from the kitchen all the way into the living room without her saying anything out loud.

What an opportunity!

First, post (with permission) this tale on your social media accounts. Wait for other people to reply back with similar stories about their beloved pooch. Trust us… there were be plenty of heart felt earnest stories about empathetic and telepathic dogs!

Next, write a press release.

“Does a Montana Dog Have ESP?” (The original lady and her dog live in Montana)

Give the back story, mentioning of course that she is a customer of, and then interview the lady for interesting quotes. Add a few more quotes from others who have had similar experiences with their dog to give the story more validity. Perhaps you could even interview a scientist working in a paranormal field to offer a scientifically valid explanation.

Run with it… as more stories of ESP animals come in… send out more press releases… develop new products around it and send out press releases to announce these.

April Fool’s Day

Celebrated since at least the 1500s, this unofficial holiday gives you even more fodder to create press releases gone wild! In fact, many of the world’s largest corporations have taken advantage of this annual opportunity to boost profits by offering up some very clever April’s Fool hoaxes!

In 1998, Burger King announced it would be offering “left-handed Whoppers” starting April 1, 1998. In their press release, they said they would be redistributing the condiments so the weight distribution would accommodate the approximately 1.4 million left-handed people who visited their restaurants every day. They claimed the left-handed whopper would fit better in the left hand and reduce the number of condiment spills by left-handed people! Burger King UK essentially made the same announcement a year later:

Of course, this all turned out to be an elaborate April fool’s Day hoax but before people figured this out, thousands of extra customers flocked to Burger King Restaurants to order the left-handed Whopper. Many right-handed customers came just out of curiosity and they of course insisted they get a right-handed Whopper.

Playing off this very successful April Fools’ hoax, what’s to stop a restaurant from offering a left-handed burrito, a left-handed shrimp po’ boy, or offering special left-handed chop sticks or utensils to eat with. Surely, publications would pick up on a press release that announced these new left-handed menu items and left-handed utensils.

While there are already left-handed golf clubs, what about left-footed scuba fins or left-bodied surf boards! Perhaps an announcement could be offered for left-handed dolls, complete with printed instructions on how to cradle and burp a left-handed baby!

Certainly, April Fool’s Day hoaxes could be thought of to complement any type of business…

An online publication could announce its intent on using semi-colons in every article to recapture proper punctuation that has been lost due to the informality of the internet. You could watch the social media circles light up on that one! A press release on the subject, containing semi-colons in every paragraph, could be also be sent out. Tweets with semi-colons could be sent as well.

Product Placement in Unusual Places

Do you make hand-sewn teddy bears, custom-made birdwatching vests, funky chicken dolls, hand crafted jewellery, oddball handbags, unique bow ties, or other boutique items that would travel well?

If you could send your products to the space station, this would be worthy of a press release, right? Imagine the headlines now:
“Cathy’s Teddy Bear Visits Cosmonaut on Space Station”
“Ferdinand the Funky Chicken Cheers Up Lonely Astronauts”

These press releases would of course contain a totally irresistible photograph that no self-respecting profit-seeking newspaper or magazine editor could possibly turn down… let alone all those bloggers out there hoping to entertain their readers with a real zinger!

While you may not have a connection at NASA, perhaps you can use your imagination to find other exotic places to place or send your products. You can then take the photographs you get back and create a press release around these.
“ABC Birding Vest Travels to Antarctica to See Emperor Penguins”
“Birdwatchers Wear ABC Birding Vest to the Top of Mount Whitney”
“Unique Baltic Amber Pendant Spotted In Tibet”

In other words, you can create a news story worthy of a press release and being picked up by multiple news outlets just by sending your product to a truly unusual place that will captivate an audience. Be sure to include an irresistible picture and add interesting quotes. The “fabricated” story you tell in the press release will be enthusiastically picked up by media outlets. You may have to send out a dozen teddy bears or birding vests to get back one or two really great photos and stories to tell but it could be well worth it in the extra orders you receive from the free press you get.

Take Your Service(s) To Exotic Places

Suppose you are a wedding photographer or a custom wedding dress maker. Why not team up with a travel agent. Offer to give one or more of her customers, a soon to be married couple, a free trip to the Dominican Republic, Sardinia, Iceland, or some other exotic place with a bold landscape in exchange for the opportunity to write a press release about it complete with pictures. Of course, you would also throw in your wedding photography services or make a very special custom wedding dress.

Go Green and Get Noticed

Committing to making your business greener and sending out press releases about each green improvement you make can easily pay for the upgrades and gain you many new loyal customers. Even here, however, going “wild” and being “eccentric” while you “greenify” your business can pay off even bigger!

Are you a mail order company? You could switch from using petrochemical based bubble wrap to more eco-friendly packing products to pack fragile items. This is certainly worthy of a press release. However, you will get noticed even more if you think outside the box. If you are shipping fragile pet items, why not team up with pet grooming shops to save dog and cat hair and pack the most fragile items in this fluffy hair (only use hair that has been washed first).

If you sell fragile hand-crafted items with a regional theme, why not use recycled newspaper from the area that people would actually be interested in reading when they receive the products.

For example, if you live in a far flung Alaskan community and create Native American gift items, people who order this type of product may be really interested to read the local news in your community. Send out a press release describing what you are doing and why!

Did you install a wind turbine at your business? Great! You can send out a press release to announce how much energy you are producing and invite people to come and see for themselves. However, you can also take this a step further by using ingenuity to custom create something that will prevent birds from flying into the wind turbine. Send out a second press release to announce this and invite all birdwatchers and wildlife lovers to come see for themselves. Be sure to send the press release directly to conservation groups too so they can help distribute the news and link to the pictures on your website.

One Last Important Tip

Be sure to write all your press releases in the third person as if you are a third party reporting on the story. Never use the words “we” or “I” in your press release. This will make your press release more believable.

Go with Lucy in spirit and invoke the marketing genius of Burger King when you write your press releases. Don’t be afraid to be different. In fact, let yourself be as eccentric as your imagination will allow you to be. Follow this simple fun advice and you will win many fans and make much more profit.

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