5 Free Ways To Generate Publicity For Your Brand

Generate Publicity

Generate PublicityWant to generate some buzz about your brand? Who would say no to that? Well, look no further, because we found five ways to generate free publicity.

While all of these options are free to use, which is great for your bottom line, they can require a little time and manpower. But if you can spare a few hours, these options can get people talking about your brand.

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Can crowdfunding power smarter journalism?

Beacon Crowdfunding journalism

Beacon Crowdfunding journalism

Award-winning freelance journalist Nate Thayer, who has 25 years of experience as a foreign correspondent, is trying to raise $67,500 on his website to self-publish Sympathy for the Devil: Living Dangerously in Cambodia, his book about the Pol Pot regime. Thayer’s efforts to get his reporting published hasn’t been easy. To date, the writer has managed to gather over 800 pages of original research, including photographs and documents, for the book. But the longer struggle to get his story published goes back over a decade, to when he became the first Western journalist to interview Pol Pot since the Cambodian genocide.

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How a small newspaper used iPads to bend the rules of reporting

York Daily Record NewsVroom

Randy Parker, image by Tim SohnWith the rapid migration of news and media onto the mobile platform, newspaper editors are finding all sorts of ways to keep up with the changeover and stay ahead of the trends. That’s why Randy Parker, managing editor of the York Daily Record put a tablet or smartphone into the hands of its top reporters. Further, as Parker explained at the America East 2013 newspaper conference in Hershey, Pa. they take those tablets on the road and into the community to experiment with news ways to boost reader engagement.

Parker explained that several years ago his newspaper hired Lauren Boyer for a new position to cover business news focusing on consumer issues, but he didn’t want her to stay in the office and instead tasked her with finding new ways to tell stories for the paper. York Daily Record gave Boyer the first iPad it bought, and she used it to shoot videos and tweet. Today she still finds new apps and tools to download and use on a weekly basis.

“It was one of the best investments I could have ever made because it absolutely energized her, and it accelerated her creative thinking,” Parker said. “I noticed every time I look over at her desk, she’s not there.”

Boyer’s tactics integrated social media use and traditional reporting – allowing her to venture into the community, meet new people and still stay connected with the newsroom. Often Boyer would send out a tweet that she was going to be at a particular location and invite people to stop by and tell her what she should be covering. Parker explained that a local public relations representative from Harley Davidson who was hard to get a hold of found her that way one day and chatted with her for around 45 minutes.

The second person on staff at the York Daily Record to receive an iPad was the paper’s senior reporter who covered the courts. The judge let the reporter use the iPad in the courtroom because it doesn’t break any of the court’s rules.

“[The judge] said, ‘Well, there’s no cellphones and no laptops, but this isn’t a cellphone, and this isn’t a laptop, so, yeah, I guess you can use that in the courtroom,’” Parker said. “This was a new judge. I think he was looking to bend the rules to new technology.”

The court reporter uses Scribble Live, which lets him live-blog the proceedings and sends his updates to Twitter.

Parker said he has gradually rolled out iPads to 14 staff members. In addition, the paper has purchased six Nexus 7-inch tablets for photographers, and he predicts the paper will continue to purchase Nexus tablets instead of iPads because they’re less glitchy, fit into “boy pockets,” and they are “dirt cheap.”

The paper has tried Kindle Fires and Windows Surface tablets, but they never caught on.

York Daily Record also created a “News Vroom,” an old newspaper delivery van that goes to sporting and other local events from time to time. Workers erect tents around the van that house six laptops, six smartphones, six iPads, and a WiFi router that allows connection to up to 21 devices. The paper uses the mobile connection to showcase the newspaper’s apps at events that draw crowds: its e-edition for iPad, its iPad app designed to focus on breaking news, photo streams, and methods for sharing information like Little League game scores.

Next up for the York paper: developing a pre-fall high school football tablet e-zine and a commemorative Gettysburg anniversary edition for tablet.

Photo courtesy of Digital First Media.

Introducing Newsdesk


Infographic: A history of the wire service


To help celebrate the launch of Ebyline’s News Desk custom wire service we wanted some way to visualize the timeline of journalism innovation. The more we researched the histories of the various big news agencies—AP, Reuters, AFP, UPI—the more apparent it was that the wires have done more to consistently pioneer new models, new technologies and new products than anyone else in the journalism biz.

They seized on the invention of the telegraph to replace steamships and homing pigeons (no kidding), were the first to use radio for news, developed the distribution of stock market quotes that we rely on today and have generally been much more open to improvisation and invention than their clients. Of course, there have been some famous gaffes, rivalries, bankruptcies and indignities.

We’re happy to include the good, the bad and the bizarre in our graphic history of the wires.

#Journo100 Profile: Daily BR!NK

From left: Gary Goldman and Jeremy Allen

As part of the Ebyline/E&P 100% Journalism Challenge, we’re profiling examples of 100% journalism to find out what challenges, mistakes and triumphs come with the responsibility for covering a topic completely. Enter the 100% Journalism Challenge by Oct. 12 and win up to $35,000 to spend on your 100% journalism idea.

Jeremy Allen and Gary Goldman were undergraduates in college when they decided to launch their own web publication, Daily BR!NK in 2010. The inspiration came from their love of reading feature stories with innovative up-and-comers that were sometimes included in their favorite magazines. Two years later, the entirely volunteer-run Daily BR!NK has shone a spotlight on over 260 rising movers and shakers in every industry from fashion design, to politics, to biotechnology, writing, and green grocers. Their 100% journalism niche? Innovation solely from those you probably haven’t heard of… yet.

Ebyline caught up with Daily BR!NK co-founders Jeremy and Gary for a joint interview about their “little website that could.” The following is a transcript of that conversation, edited lightly for clarity.

Where did your idea for Daily BR!NK originate and how did it develop?

Jeremy: The idea was that we both love magazines so much, and our favorite part of the magazines we’d read was the small blurb on an up-and-comer. And we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be so cool to have a publication that was just up-and-comers? That just focused on the people that you haven’t heard about yet but that you will?’ [These are] people that are going to be affecting the world in a variety of industries; and that’s where the idea began. Gary thought that the web would be the best platform for it.

Gary: [I steered us toward the web] because of the frequency of posts. I really wanted to have one person [featured] a day, five days a week. And that seemed pretty impossible because we had no resources, we had no contacts really to start this. But from a very selfish point of view for me, I just saw this as such an incredible opportunity not just to build my own project, but to meet these people… get inspired, get contacts and find out about the great things going on in a specific industry.

Describe the accomplishments of some of your “BR!NKers”.

Gary: The first two people we featured: one of them went on to compete in the trials for the Olympics for boxing, the first ever [such] trials for women. And the second one, he’s an electronic violinist and he’s currently on tour with Madonna. So it’s been really rewarding to see these people and really promote them. And for most of them it’s their first media opportunity.

What are the challenges of your focus on up-and-comers who haven’t previously hit the limelight?

Gary: I think what was hard was [creating] a consistency of voice across the diversity of people and topics we featured. How do we always have this twentysomething voice that’s eager and curious and enthusiastic and so accessible, even for people who do things that may not necessarily be accessible to a layperson? Consistency of voice for a variety of topics is something that I don’t think a lot of websites do. The voice is what is niche for us, it’s not the industries or what we cover.

Does the diversity of topics affect your audience or help build it? How have you identified and targeted your audience?

Jeremy: I read Vogue because I love fashion but, you know, we’re targeting every industry possible so how do you keep people interested? And you do see that, depending on the person, it’ll get spurts of readership depending on who they are and what industry they’re in.

Gary: We have a built-in audience that’s pretty consistent. However, we definitely want to grow that. I know there’s a big potential in there that’s untapped. A lot of people don’t know about the site and the big question is, without resources what’s the best way to promote yourself? How do you do that?

What advice do you have for others looking to create their own 100% web publication?

Jeremy: If you have an idea, the only thing that’s stopping you from doing it is just yourself. With the tools that are available online, you can make it happen. I think the first step to making a publication like this is surrounding yourself with people who believe in it so much that they’re not going to let you sleep until you’ve gotten this thing live.

Because [Daily BR!NK] is not any one of our full-time jobs, there are times where we’ll go on hiatus for a couple of weeks and then we’ll come back with a new lineup for another month. But even so, the amount of consistency that it’s kept without any form of monetization and only a volunteer staff is just so amazing. So again, it’s just about believing in an idea enough to see it through. Even if that means doing it after you come home from work, doing it after you come home from classes, surrounding yourself with a group of people who believe in it equally enough to help you do it as well, and help share the burden of the workload.

Gary: And to add on to that… always remember that you’re just one brain. You should always have a little bit of space for critical thinking. We are the co-founders of the site, but it never would have happened if it weren’t for the input of the dozens of people that have worked on it.