Part of the fun of working for a great agency is being encouraged to think. Here are some of the things we’re thinking about.

Media Relations: Free Advertising for your Business

June 18, 2013 the Bradford Group

You did it! After a decade of research and experimentation you’ve succeeded in concocting the elixir of youth. You’ve bottled it and are ready to make your millions. The thing is, no one knows about it yet.


You leave your basement laboratory, step upstairs to your home office and Google “advertising costs.” Here’s what you find:

  • The average thirty-second local TV spot will set you back about $2,000.
  • The average half-page ad in your local paper will require approximately $8,000.
  • Google AdWords can cost anywhere from one cent to nearly $60 per click.

Since most of your money has gone into research and development, you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on advertising. You need free advertising. The good news—I want to help you get the word out about your bottled fountain of youth. (Mainly because I want to know where I can buy a lifetime supply.)

Here’s the Bradford Group’s Guide to free advertising:

Tell the media

Everything you watch during the 5 o’clock evening news and everything you read in your Sunday paper was first told to a reporter. If journalists aren’t aware you’ve developed the elixir of youth, they can’t tell their subscribers about it.

The most professional and effective way of informing the media is through a formal press release, which outlines the who-what-where-when-why-how of your story. Journalists need all of this information ahead of time to ensure the story they decide to chase is in fact newsworthy.

If a reporter broadcasts your story, you’re still reaching the targeted audience included in the publication’s advertising rate, but your coverage is even more valuable. Why? Consumers give more merit to news stories than ads because they understand news stories are not paid for are therefore unbiased and more reliable. With this in mind, news coverage is two and half times more valuable.


Associations, conferences, universities and civic groups all look for guest speakers. If you have something interesting to talk about, like the kitchen items used in your elixir, or the scientific approach you used to discover your potion’s perfect ratio, then organization leaders may invite you to you speak at their next event.

Speaking is a circle of free advertising. By delivering valuable information to your audience, you’re getting exposure, which transfers into exposure for your elixir, which further establishes you and your potion as influential—perpetuating your notoriety and influence.

Further, when you speak you’re not only reaching your immediate audience, but oftentimes the presentation is recorded to be shared on the organization’s website and social media platforms, which expands your audience. If that’s not incentive enough, sometimes organizations will pay you to speak. That’s better than free advertising—you’re getting paid to advertise.


When you blog, you automatically accomplish two things:

  1. Establish yourself as a thought leader.
  2. Position yourself as an authority to online search engines. Search engines look upon rich and frequently updated sites favorably. In turn, your website is ranked higher.

You can take blogging a step further by strategically optimizing your blog with keywords. Here’s how it works: before you write a blog about magical potions, play around with Google’s keyword tool to determine the search word or phrase that’s most often searched and lest often written about—this way you have a bigger chance of appearing on Google’s first page of search results when someone searches for magical potions.

used-car-salesman*If and when you attempt these free-advertising approaches, it’s important you’re not perceived like a walking ad. When you’re writing a release, speaking at an event or writing a blog, don’t use salesy language and blatant promotion. Instead, provide the reporter, audience member or reader with valuable information that could benefit him or her.

So instead of promoting the price of your product and where one may purchase, divulge information you learned during research like the youthful benefits of certain berries.

Since you’re so busy working as Youth Elixir Incorporated’s CEO, you may not have time to double as chief marketing officer. Don’t worry. the Bradford Group in Nashville, Tennessee is here to help. We’re happy to assist in all of your free advertising efforts so you have time to do what you do best—develop magical potions.

The great thing about letting the Bradford Group generate your free advertising—we’re experts. We have connections with journalists and we speak their language. We know what they’re looking for in a press release, we understand what’s newsworthy and we’re well versed in the Associated Press (AP) writing style—the preferred writing rubric of journalists.


photo credit: <a href=””>Lord Jim</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=””>˙Cаvin 〄</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

One comment on “Media Relations: Free Advertising for your Business
  1. Gean says:

    Very informative list but you have not included a good site I use often, I have been advertising my business using It should add some value to your ad campaign

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *