Friday, April 5, 2013

Next time, think deeply about your Giveaways


After collecting so many T-shirts in a couple of events over the years, I decided to audit what each and every giveaway I have and what value they are giving to the brands engraved /printed on them. Well, the ugly truth is that 80% of the T-shirts are specialized pajamas and the only time the brands are visible is when I wake up from a horror dream.

For a good cause.
While giveaways are one of the best channels to target brand visibility, as PR pros, we miss out on this opportunity by assuming key factors to be considered when choosing any channel of communication.

But what should one consider when choosing giveaways?

The number one element to consider when planning for giveaways is how to tie it into your business so that it generates the most publicity. Anybody can give away a T-shirt, but if your PR client is a roofing company, how exactly does giving away a T-shirt tie into repairing roofs? On the other hand, holding a mini contest during the event and giving away a free roof to the person that sends you the picture of the neediest house, is a great way to generate publicity and content for your brand. Not to mention, your client will provide a much-needed service, and probably garner attention from local media, real estate agents, and contractors who can throw him more work.

If you are responsible for PR for a restaurant, how about holding a contest to let customers name a new menu item? The winner could receive a free lunch for four. Or if you are the PRO representing a telecommunications service provider, instead of that costly diary, you should give the media one of your data products i.e. modem for them to experience your super speeds. Giveaways like that, that tie in with your business, draw attention to your company, engage customers, and get your product into their hands all at the same time.

Finally, as you are dishing out your well branded giveaways, make a point to note the laws governing you on the same; this includes the media houses’ policy regarding gifts, any regulations from the Betting, Licensing & Control Board and even the Public Relations Society of Kenya code of conduct

A well meaning event with lovely giveaways can always easily backfire horribly because the client did not understand all the legal ramifications of that simple raffle they did to give out a high end phone.

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