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Get Tons of Free Publicity With This Crazy Idea

Author: Joan Stewart   |   November 5th, 2010

Sometimes a crazy idea isn’t so crazy after all. Here’s how some members of the National Speakers Association have generated ongoing publicity for their businesses — and in one case, started a whole new career. 

If you haven’t created your own holiday, or your own day, week or month of the year, you’re missing out on the chance to generate tons of print, broadcast and online publicity.

National-hug-your-child-day• Laura Stack created “National Leave the Office Earlier Day” on June 2 to promote her book, Leave the Office Earlier. It coincides with her birthday. Problem is, so many media outlets want to interview her that she ends up working 12 hours on her birthday just to accommodate them all.

• Michelle Nichols, a former BusinessWeek columnist, created a brand-new career for herself when she started a wildly successful nationwide campaign to promote National Hug Your Kids Day, the third Monday in July. She convinced Clear Channel Outdoor to donate 135 digital billboards, eight Gannett newspapers to run “” contests, and three Major League baseball teams to announce it on their Jumbotrons.

Now she works full-time encouraging parents to hug their children with her website,

• Carole Copeland, a speaker and “personal empowerment” coach, has christened June as Student Safety Month. It’s put her website at the top of the Google charts.

• Marilee Driscoll, who specializes in Long-Term Care Planning has designated October (what else?) Long-Term Care Planning Month. It’s brought her book a ton of publicity.

• Steve Hughes, a speaking and communications consultant to businesses, created “Be Kind to Lawyers Day” the second Tuesday in April. It took off in a big way, and he’s guaranteed publicity every year when April rolls around.

What are you waiting for? Now it’s your turn to generate all the free publicity you can handle.

If you’re on LinkedIn, you can use that popular social networking site to actually promote your holiday, just like Michelle Nichols did. Scott Allen, an expert on LinkedIn, critiqued Michelle’s LinkedIn campaign and made several suggestions which she used. They resulted in instant feedback from the LinkedIn community within only 48 hours.

Scott explained how he helped her with her campaign when he was my guest during a teleseminar on How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Anything–Ethically & Powerfully. It’s available as electronic transcripts and your choice of MP3s or CDs.

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