Public Relations/pr campaign


I am about 90% done creating a website that gives away free service that is normally valued at about $150.

I think it is "newsworthy" and will play well in the PR/media world.  
The actual intention of the site is that in addition to giving away the 100% completely free service, that it will advertise my main business - which will be the prominent official sponsor of the site.

Thus far, I have wanted to separate out the ownership of this other activity in the sense that it is a separate LLC with a separate address, etc. and I am planning on hiring an actual actress (not a famous one) to work for $10/hr as a spokesperson for this new entity.  I am anticipating many radio interviews and hopefully some television interviews.

Part of my thinking is that if I do it as myself in direct connection of my main company, it will lose a chunk of the "coolness" factor of it being free.

Is this a bad idea?

Another possible idea is for ME to do it using a pseudonym, but I think that is an even worse idea.

What advise to you have in this regard?

    I'm not a marketing expert and this is out of my area of expertise--but I can offer some things to consider. I'm not sure without knowing the product or service and how you stack up to your competitors, why "free" offering alone would generate media interest. The main 'hook' for media attention would be the service or product itself, it's uniqueness, or something else that was noteworthy in starting the company, not the pricing or lack of it. (In fact some of your potential customers might conclude since you presumably know the value or lack of your offering and are giving it away, you've concluded it's not worth what others are charging for it). Value and price are not the same thing and at any rate, media seldom care about either (perhaps trade media might be in some instances), but that's only tangential to the offering itself. Media are not interested in selling or promoting your product for you. They'll let you do that if there's something else there--but you haven't outlined what that is to me.
     I'm also not sure whether it matters whether the owner has other lines of business--or who would care--unless, again, there's something there in the offerings that make that unique or interesting. (i.e. you are an elected official who sells something on the side). Your paid spokesperson, again, falls into the same category. She may be terrific (a side note: $10/hr is so far below SAG or AFTRA rates, I'm assuming she isn't a 'working' actress), but she's by definition a paid spokesperson, with no celebrity status. That means she can't supply credibility for your product or service with potential buyers she because she endorses it. Now you might be able to, but again, that would depend on what you have to sell and the way you sell it. I don't know what you're offering or how it differs from what is already out there.
      Remember the CEO who launced an online security company by advertising it with an absolute promise? Lots of people have on-line security software, but he said he was so sure his system worked, he was going to post his own, real social security number on line to test it. That got a lot of buzz--as I'm sure he intended, but it had everything to do with his boast and whether it was accurate,  not about him, his pricing, or having the right spokesperson. (That boast also attracted countless and ultimately successful attempts by hackers to thwart his security, which caused him no small amount of problems and embarrassment). On the other hand, it definitely created buzz.
       So--I'd have to ask--'where's the beef?' In other words, where's your substance? I'm not seeing anything in what you've written so far that's particularly newsworthy.
       I hope that helps you work through some questions.

Best of luck,

Aileen Pincus

Public Relations

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Aileen Pincus


After 20 years in Television News, I`ve turned to helping executives navigate the world of media. If you`ve got questions about how to prepare for your next interview--or about what the media wants--feel free to ask.


20 years as a television reporter--several years as a media trainer for a global public relations agency and two years leading communications and media for a US Senator.

©2017 All rights reserved.