Here’s a quick way to get publicity and boost your email database

Looking for ways to generate news coverage?

Run a competition. People love the chance to win something – it has something to do with the thrill of the gamble and the joy of getting something for free.

Media and industry networks are often happy to publicise a competition when they would be more reluctant to simply promote your business.

At the same time, you raise awareness, you get your name out there with contact details, and anyone who registers for the competition goes into an email database which you can legitimately use afterwards to keep them in touch with your news.

Keep the competition simple to avoid time-consuming administration. Ask your target audience to send in photos, or write something, or come up with an idea that relates closely to your business. For example, one of our clients – Surfwest magazine – invited amateur photographers to send in surf photos, with the winner getting their pics published. The story went out through regional papers and generated a lot of interest in the new magazine.

You’ll need to make a quick call to your state lottery and gaming authority to make sure you abide by any regulations for promotions and competitions. If your competition involves demonstration of skill rather than sheer chance, then you shouldn’t have any problems, but do check to make sure. Sometimes a prize value restriction is imposed.

Once you have your parameters, it’s a case of deciding how your prospective clients can compete with one another, and what an appropriate prize would be. Publicise the winner too, and if the prize involves your product or services, you have created an opportunity to showcase what you do.