On February 22, the world will celebrate National Margarita Day.
And where will they celebrate?
Margaritaville, of course, a the network of restaurants owned by musician Jimmy Buffett, with locations across North America and the Caribbean.
National Margarita Day isn’t a Hallmark holiday. It is a Jimmy Buffett holiday. The brains behind the Buffett brand have wisely taken over the day and used it for three years as a massive public relations stunt. How much free press will Margaritaville grab thanks to National Margarita Day? I’m certain the value is in the millions.
The day to day news cycle presents countless opportunities to use to your advantage.
Using Google Alerts, you can constantly be monitoring the internet for mentions of your product, competitors, category, or business.
Before these stories become major news, you can “newsjack” your brand into the equation.
Here are four ways in which the current news cycle could be used to a business’ PR advantage:
1. ”The Grey” is the #1 movie this week. The storyline follows a group of oil workers who survive a plane crash in Alaska, only to be hunted down by a pack of wolves. A smart tourism outfitter in the Alaskan wilderness could use this opportunity to protest how wolves are portrayed in the movie, and organize a boycott of the movie. Certainly that would get some attention in the media.
2. Nine people have died in car accidents in Florida this week because of reduced visbility due to smoke from brush fires. If you owned an auto repair shop in Florida, this would be an excellent time to issue a press release about the lack of care people put into their headlights. You would be able to become the go-to person to comment on the fact that with regular cleaning, adjusting, and upgrading of headlights, roads could be significantly safer.
3. A friend of mine has recently launched a line of vending machines that dispense only healthy food. He’s been actively using the news cycle to target emerging news stories about obesity and related health issues. As these stories emerge, he engages journalists, bloggers, and others so that they turn to him for comment. He’s positioning hismself as an expert in making schools and workplaces healthier.
4. Last Christmas during my visit to the Cayman Islands, I was discussing the island’s marketing campaign with a friend. If I were advising the Cayman Islands government, I would suggest that they use the violence in Mexico and Jamaica to their newsjacking advantage. Every time a tourist is attacked in Mexico or Jamaica, the Cayman Islands tourism department should issue a press release about what steps they have successfully taken to ensure that not a single tourist is harmed in their country. They could offer to share their knowledge and experience with more violent tourism destinations.
Author David Meerman Scott has a new book out called Newsjacking, and it goes much deeper into the idea of using the news cycle to generate PR. You can read more about the book, and the newsjacking techniques that David used to launch it, on his blog here.
Photo: taken by Steve Jones in West Bay, Cayman Islands. Moments after taking this picture, the photographer poured himself a margarita.