Sick of Valentine’s? This is for you

Everybody knows the tired PR trick of tying a media pitch to a holiday.

I bet there’s tons of griping in newsrooms around America this week about the lame Valentine’s Day pitches coming in. Huge stretches from law firms, car dealerships, bitcoin exchanges, marijuana dispensaries – whatever – trying to find some angle around boosting your romance or gifts for your valentine.

So how do you use the calendar in your favor in this jaded environment? Come at the holiday from the opposite angle.

The El Paso Zoo is reprising a genius promotion where they let you name a cockroach after your ex, then let you watch it get devoured by a meerkat on Facebook Live. USA Today loved it. 

The San Antonio Zoo saw that success last year, so this year they upped the ante – if you make a $25 donation, you can name a RAT after your ex and watch it get swallowed by a reptile.

If these examples seem out of reach for you because you don’t have access to cute (or gross) animals, you’re wrong. They actually follow a simple formula you can apply yourself:

Look at the calendar. Consider the holidays, anniversaries, and other time elements coming up. Brainstorm answers to the question: “What if we did the opposite of what everyone else is doing?”

Regular readers will recognize that I’ve been teaching this here for years, and people keep finding success with it.

Everybody remembers when REI “did the opposite” and shut its doors on Black Friday a few years ago. But did you know another, smaller retailer made a similar splash the year before by being the first to take on Black Friday gluttony?

And then there was the time the clever pediatrician’s office flipped the script on Halloween.

I love sharing tips that work with you via these posts . . . and celebrating fun success stories.

If you’re ready to take your learning to the next level, register for our Inner Circle wait list.

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This article was originally published on February 12, 2020

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