Friday, July 07, 2006

Why do businesses ignore the chance for free publicity?

At the TV station where I work, two of our newscasts every day have a business news segment. We run the stocks of local interest, the oil prices and whatnot, on a graphic, and the anchor reads a business-related story. Maybe it's a new store opening, or a big donation to a charity, or something about taxes.

On several occasions, we've contacted a new business, or maybe they're opening a new location, and we ask to come out and shoot some video, and maybe interview a manager, and they either refuse or never call back.

What is the deal?

A 30-second commercial spot has to cost in the hundreds of dollars, if not the thousands, and here we're giving you 30 seconds for free. Maybe 45 seconds. You don't have to hire a cameraman or a writer - we do it all for you. And it's not airing during a commercial break, when people are going to the bathroom or grabbing a soda from the fridge.

I mean, I can see some small businesses maybe not realizing that they can get free publicity and not contacting us on their own. But when we call them and offer a free plug on the top rated news show in the area, why the hesitation?


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