Profit from Publicity

CNBC aired a show Sunday night called "How I Made My Millions."   It was a collection of stories about regular people who'd succeeded beyond their own expectations by coming up with a simple idea that made them a fortune.   The ideas covered a wide range – a man who invented a razor to make shaving a bald head easier, the couple who began the 99-cent store chain, the woman behind "Burt's Bees" products, the man who founded 1-800-Got-Junk? and a guy who turns vacant farm fields into entertainment venues with corn mazes.   

What struck me was how many of these entrepreneurs credited media attention as the spark that spurred their phenomenal growth.  None of them used the word "publicity."  Instead, they said things like, "the business really took off after:"

  • An article appeared in the newspaper
  • Seven TV stations covered the opening
  • A national magazine mentioned our product as a hot new item

The formula for using free publicity (media attention) worked like this:

Increased visibility + enhanced credibility = improved profitability.

How they got the publicity was not spelled out.  Did they hire a public relations agency to get them on TV or in a national magazine?  Did they personally reach out to media people for coverage?  Or did serendipity strike in which a local reporter just noticed them and produced a story which led to bigger things?   All these methods are possibilities.

The bottom line is publicity pays off   The media got the word out faster and to a wider audience than they had ever imagined reaching.  And while we'll never know how much time and effort that "free" publicity cost them, they cited it as a key factor in boosting what ultimately became their million-dollar businesses. 

Isn't it worth the time to work the media into your marketing plan?

The following two tabs change content below.

Janet Vasil

On-Camera, Speaker & Media Trainer/Coach at Vasil Media Group | Your Media Moment & Beyond
Virtual Communication Specialist Janet Vasil is a former award-winning, EMMY®-nominated TV Journalist who teaches business professionals to communicate with impact on-camera, in media interviews, and as public speakers. Contact at

Latest posts by Janet Vasil (see all)