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The Marketing Blunder That Got One Man on TV

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Last week conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh got himself into a heap of trouble when he called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a slut.  

Why did Limbaugh use this word?

Because Fluke took a position in favor of birth control which Limbaugh disagreed with.  And your first reaction may be to think that Rush Limbaugh is a complete idiot who should keep his mouth shut and his opinions to himself.  And I agree with you.  Calling people names is not smart.

But you and I are marketers, right?

So why did Limbaugh really say what he did?

To stir up some controversy so he could score media attention.  Just look at all the attention Limbaugh got from saying two words.  He was inundated with attention.  And while it's not the kind of attention I want (or you should want), Limbaugh has made a career by going against the grain.  

And it's worked for him too.

Is it right?  Probably not.  At least you shouldn't call someone names.  What I do believe is smart is to take the opposite stance on an issue.  

So if one dog trainer says to use a choke collar... you say to use a gentle leader.

If one financial planner says to refinance... you say refinancing is not smart.

If one doctor says Vitamin C cures cancer... then you say it doesn't.

Why does going against the grain set you apart?  Because many people don't have the gall to go against the grain.  And yet the people in the highest positions in just about any industry are usually the ones who consistently walk the road less traveled.

Here are a few other ways you can spin a story to get attention for your business:

1) If you see a story in the media, take the opposite position.  

And then send that opposite stance out as a press release.  This may not work right away.  But it will definitely get the attention of plenty of media folks.  And you never know when they may run with your story.

2) Don't be afraid to be a lone wolf.  

You don't want to offend people like Limbaugh did.  But if you really are passionate about your stance, then stand up for what you know and feel is right.

3) Become known for being different.

The last thing the world needs is another (FILL IN THE BLANK).  Business is competitive enough.  So when you are different, and still very competent, you immediately position yourself head and shoulders above everyone else in your niche.

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