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Of course, an event or promotion is of little use unless your target audience knows about it. If you’re putting on an event for a limited audience, such as your prospective customers, your best customers, city officials or a church group, then publicizing it in your newsletter or your website should be enough. However, if you’re interested in drawing the public to your sale, celebration, event or promotion, you need to advertise and promote it in the media.

Most newspapers and TV and radio stations are reluctant to give any coverage to a typical grand opening, sale or other event because that’s what they sell advertising space for. But, if you use a little imagination and creativity, you can find the unique ‘hook’ that will get plenty of advanced coverage and probably some day-of coverage as well.

Following are some tips to help you create a unique event the media may show interest in:

* A product or service that changes the way we work or live (a home shopping service, a service where you bring live theater into the home, a home butler service where a chef comes in and prepares dinner for you and your friends, etc.).
* A charity tie-in to a product, service or organization.
* A product that ties into an already prominent event such as a local festival or fair, the Olympics or The Super Bowl.
* A common product or service positioned as being innovative because of a unique feature.
* A novel celebration, such as a “Still In Business Sale,” a “Cultural Diversity” celebration, the appearance of a well-known celebrity, author, movie star, etc., or the launch of a new service such as a coffee service that delivers lattes to the customers home each morning, like a milkman of days gone by. Customers can change their order online the night before or just keep the same order coming at a specific time each morning.
* An exciting visual event, such as a 50th Anniversary Party, a parade, a street dance, costumed employees, entertainers, a big red ribbon tied around a building, an antique car show, an unusual contest or other such event that creates photo and video opportunities.

The key to getting attention for your event is to create something that’s a little different, imaginative and even a little crazy. The general public loves something new and different and new opportunities are waiting to be exploited every month of the year. During February or March, how about a Mardi Gras theme or in May, a veteran’s parade. The winter months are particularly effective for events because there’s not much competition for public attention. Use your imagination and dare to be a little bit different and you’ll almost guarantee a packed house, increased sales and new business.