Top 10 Tips for Free Publicity

Many writers wonder how they can get free publicity for their book or consulting service. Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, offers ten great tips on how to get free publicity. As a former news editor, she knows of what she speaks. Her followers are proudly called Publicity Hounds, and here’s how they work to promote themselves.

They’re referred to as Publicity Hounds and I’ll bet you know at least one.

They’re the people smiling back at you from color photos that accompany their profile story in the morning paper. Turn on the radio and there they are again, chatting away on a local talk show. Two months later, they show up on the cover of your trade journal. Then they’re being interviewed on the 11 o’clock news. While you’re buying expensive advertising to deliver your message, they’re doing it for free.

During my 22 years as a newspaper editor and reporter, I have seen well-meaning people fail repeatedly in their attempts to beg and cajole the media to pay attention to them. That’s because media relations is a sophisticated game with its own etiquette, protocol and rules. And with all the social media sites, you have more opportunities than ever at your fingertips.

Today, as a media relations consultant, professional speaker and ezine publisher, I teach people how to create free publicity to sell a product or service, champion a cause, create an image and establish their expertise.

Here are my Top 10 tips for free publicity:

1. Write and distribute direct-to-consumer press releases regularly to promote your product, service, cause or issue. (Sign up for my free press release writing tips.)

2. To promote your expertise, write “how-to” articles and post them to These same articles can be sent to newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and print and electronic newsletters.

3. Create your own blog and blog at least three times a week about your topic. Many journalists who do their research online interview bloggers.

4. Post comments at other blogs by joining in the conversation, even if you disagree with the blogger. Most blogs allow people commenting to include their website URL. (See “How to Pitch the Best Bloggers & Create a Publicity Explosion.”

5. Participate at the social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, Squidoo, HubPages and LinkedIn. These sites are growing by the day, with millions of people turning to them instead of to traditional media for their news, entertainment and networking.

6. Get to know reporters who cover your industry. Offer yourself as someone they can call on for background, commentary and story ideas. Call and ask, “How can I help you?”

7. Start your own cable TV show on your local cable TV company’s public access channel. Air time is free.

8. Look for photo opportunities. Local newspapers, TV stations, weekly shoppers, trade publications and other media are always looking for interesting photos. (See “How to use Photos & Graphics in Your Publicity Campaign.”)

9. Post short videos about your product, service, cause or issue to YouTube and the other video-sharing sites.

10. Post lots of content-rich free articles at your website. These pull in traffic from the search engines and can often by found by journalist and consumers who are researching topics.

Above all, be patient and persistent. The key to savvy promotion is understanding how to dovetail your wants and needs with people who want to hear what you have to say.

Need More Help with Publicity?

If you like all those ideas but would rather hire a publicist to help you implement them, see How to Hire the Perfect Publicist, an 85-page ebook that walks you step-by-step through the entire process. Includes 307 tips such as where to find candidates, questions to ask during the interview, the advantages and disadvantages of the four types of billing methods, how to help your publicist help you, and a handy chart that will help you rank your final candidates. Includes special chapters for authors and musicians. Read this ebook before you waste thousands of dollars on the Publicist from Hell who will take your money and ruin your reputation. Downloadable, so you can be reading it in minutes.

How to be a Kick-Butt Publicity Hound is an ebook with more than 300 pages of tips on how to get thousands of dollars in free publicity in the print and broadcast media. Written by Joan Stewart and Tom Antion. It’s the only book you will need to launch a publicity campaign, or kick your existing campaign into high gear.

Direct comments or questions about this article, including requests for reprint rights, to:

Joan Stewart
The Publicity Hound
3434 County KK
Port Washington, WI 53074
Phone: 262-284-7451


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1 Comment on "Top 10 Tips for Free Publicity"

  1. As a ghostwriter and editor, I am in general agreement with most of your suggestions. Above all, I think it’s very important for writers — or any business, for that matter — to try out what they haven’t yet and then observe the results, the reactions of readers. For example, joining forums, social media and other networks where writers could contribute to ongoing debates. This is an excellent way to promote their businesses. However, I think it is equally important to do two things:

    (1) Hone your strategy — it takes time, observation and the wisdom of hindsight to avoid wasting time endlessly writing articles and blogs just for the sake of doing it;

    (2) Contribute intelligently — there is too much junk out there, recycled again and again.

    It’s almost too obvious to mention, but I would advise writers to think about what they are doing before wasting their and others’ time. Think before you take up space that would otherwise be occupied by good content.


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