Publicity is Free, That Doesn’t Mean it has no Value

When I first got into business for myself, the stakes were high and I learned to control the variables.  I knew about outsourcing and as a sales professional, I knew about preparation.  I knew the actual sales presentation was like a baseball player stepping into the batter’s box.  The odds of his success were pretty slim if he didn’t have the proper equipment, didn’t study videos of his opposing pitcher, and take plenty of swings in batting practice.  The game of business is no different!


“There is nothing more irrational than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on capital equipment and thousands of man-hours on the development of a technology and then skimping on the preparation of the materials required to inform the world about them.”  That quote was from a speech I gave to the “American Marketing Association” on April 18, 1978.  In that speech I was talking about several brilliant entrepreneurs I had met who, because they were so smart, thought they could do everything better than anyone else.  When it came to “free publicity,” they didn’t understand that just because it was free didn’t mean it had no value.


Those words from over 30 years ago are more relevant today because of the internet.  Many techies believe that all you have to do to get publicity is distribute your news release on the web and nothing could be further from the truth.  Unless, of course, you want to step into the batter’s box unprepared!


To get high-level product publicity to the right audience, with the right message, requires a great deal of preparation.  When product publicity is well thought out and prepared properly, it can achieve more in value for a businessperson than any other element of the marketing mix.  Just reflect on the introduction of every successful product in recent history.  Look no further than the Apple iPhone 4S.


Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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