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Rochester, New York

« “Where Should I Advertise My Event?” | Main | How to Market Your Event at Another Event »

How to Execute a Publicity Stunt to Near Perfection

by Eugene Loj

It’s Friday, so I’m going to keep things light or at least funny. Here goes …

The video above is a great example of an edgy publicity stunt that generates MASSIVE publicity.  (P.T. Barnum would be gushing with admiration!) The “Dictator” is played by edgy, often controversial, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Cohen is well known for his over-the-top movie characters such as Borat, Bruno, Ali G, and now the Dictator.

This publicity stunt (meticulously planned weeks in advance) happened on the Oscar's "Red Carpet" ...

How can publicity help my event marketing and promotion?

Publicity Stunt Results
In less than a week, the video above has amassed almost 8 Million YouTube views. Some consider the publicity stunt (for Cohen’s upcoming movie) the biggest highlight of the 2012 Oscars.  On Monday morning after the Oscars, the gag above was played repeatedly on almost every major news channel. It would cost millions … if not tens of millions of dollars … in advertising to generate the same level of buzz.

It Actually Takes Work
After watching the video, you might be asking, “ok, Eugene what does this have to do with promoting my event?” On the surface, not much … And, I’m not encouraging you to go out and “ash-bomb” the Oscars, or some else equally ridiculous. But if you dig deeper into Cohen’s gag, you’ll see all the work that goes into generating massive publicity. To pull off a gag at the Oscars (that actually works) doesn’t happen by chance! Gone are the days when you could post a video (funny or not) and HOPE it went viral. Today, there is so much social media that it’s hard to cut through all the noise. When trying to generate publicity for your event, you need to make sure it’s a well thought out process

Here are some ideas from the world famous P.T. Barnum on creating publicity for your event …

Are you considering getting someone to help you with event PR?
Generating great publicity for your event takes a tremendous amount of work and knowledge. My strong recommendation, if you have the budget, is to hire a well-established publicity firm with a proven track record.  If you’re going to use a volunteer, they NEED to have a strong background in public relations.


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Anita Leung

Interesting show and dialogue.

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