I had an immediate reaction to a colleague of mine posting about an organization that reached out to her that she had won an award and for $2,500 or $3,000 she could claim that award and have a one-page article on the site and in their magazine blah, blah, blah.

She was really irritated and called it out as a scam, as if anyone would ever pay that money, etc. 

My response was different from hers. 

Not at that price for sure, but if it was a reputable organization and made sense for your audience, you might want to take advantage at a lower level and get the digital logo or listing on their website, or if reasonable, a one-page interview or placed article, or maybe even the cover. 

My sense was that she was unaware that paying for publicity is a time-honored marketing tactic. Placed articles and advertorials are often part of a company’s marketing budget. 

You pay PR people to get you mentions in leading publications. Sometimes you can get even more bang for your buck by paying those organizations yourself, or sponsoring an event in return for giving a talk to an ideal audience. That can work exceptionally well for new products. 

So yes, there are offers that are scams and spam, but with a reputable organization, it also can be a good investment. 

Think of it as just one part of your marketing strategy. 

Yes, you will create your own content and of course you will leverage social media in a way that makes sense for your business. 

But please remember that perception is important. If you are quoted in something or featured in something, the way potential clients perceive you may be impacted. Many people make ego-driven decisions and want to work with “the best” or the “famous person” – and this may be the thing that tips the scales for them and gets someone to invest in your product or service.

Think about influencer marketing. Those people are compensated in most cases. You PAY them to wear your thing or share how much they love it with their following on social media. If you can get the right influencer to do this, your business may take off. You have heard many stories about this. 

The Oprah effect anyone? How many personalities and products have been launched by being mentioned by her? So many. 

But please know that it doesn’t have to be a media personality or famous actor. It could be a “micro influencer” who has a highly engaged community. That can be an excellent investment if you know your exact niche. 

All of this is to say that sometimes paying for publicity does make sense. Like any business decision, you will need to take a look at all of the details and the price and evaluate if it is right for your business. 

Photo by Brands&People on Unsplash