I just got back from our tiny post office in our tiny town. Posted on the community bulletin board was a flyer announcing a contest.

The flyer was posted by one of the other dog trainers in town (me being the best one in town!). The contest is being called something like “Your Best Dog Trick”.

There’s an entry fee, but like lots of things in my tiny town, the entry fee is whatever you want it to be (isn’t life simple in farm communities?).

The topic of the contest is a sure winner. Who wouldn’t go to see a bunch of dogs perform their best tricks? You know it’s going to be a bundle of non-stop laughs!

I had 6 dogs in the car so I couldn’t stop to read the entire flyer, but my mind has been racing ever since.

Think about how you can use this as a template for your business.

Have a contest challenging people to do their best whatever. Or have their pet do their best whatever. Or their mother-in-law do her best whatever.

Make it fun.

Charge an entry fee, but make the amount up to the people entering.

Donate all the proceeds to a *local* charity.

As people register, send out press releases about the most interesting ones. One press release a week.

Have a representative of the charity at the event to accept the check.

Have a photographer there to take plenty of pictures. You don’t have to hire a pro. Just get someone who has a reasonable camera and can reasonable shots.

Have a press release all ready to go concerning the winners. Within an hour of the end of the contest fill in the names of the winners in the press release you pre-wrote. Get it out to the local media both on and offline. Be sure to send lots of great photos.

Announce the next contest you’re going to have. Or let people know this is going to be an annual event.

The dog trainer who’s having the Best Tricks contest is using the facility she normally uses for her classes, so there’s no extra cost there. She may have a few bucks into trophies or prizes. But what a jackpot of publicity she can get for a tiny cost to her.

What other ideas can you come up with along these lines? Let me know your thoughts.

In the meantime, if you’re not a subscriber to my paper and ink newsletter and you’re not getting free access to my live coaching calls each month, what are you waiting for? On my next coaching call I’ll be talking much more about this contest idea and exactly how to do it plus loads of other strategies you can’t afford to miss.

Sign up at:


I’ll also be talking about the biggest mistake people new to publicity make and how you can – and must – avoid it.

And if you’re really serious, get my complete publicity kit. It has everything you’ll need to get publicity for ANY type of business, service or professional practice. Sign up at:


Now go start planning your contest!

See you next time.


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  1. Paul Hartunian Says:

    Link? I live in a farm community. The only links people know about here have to do with sausages!

    This was just a paper flyer posted on the community bulletin board in the post office. No website, no links, no high tech. Just plain ol’ Andy Griffith/Mayberry old time message distribution.

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