September 2, 2014

PR Secret Weapon: Free Stuff

Posted by: of on 02/17/06

I did PR for a while, and I was a journalist for quite a while, and one formula I’ve always been a fan of is “free stuff.” I especially endorse the idea for bloggers, particularly when you’re transparent that there are no explict expectations. As far as marketing dollars go, it’s a pretty cheap strategy. Hit or miss, but so is most of marketing. In that spirit, here’s a plug for an honest pitch (and note, I’m aware that they’re getting exposure from my even posting this without my even trying to get the free stuff, but that just proves my point that this is a good PR strategy):


It’s probably Hugh MacLeod’s fault for giving away free wine to bloggers and now free dinners (not to mention John Scott’s latest attempt to grow traffic with talk of a $10,000 prize to a reader of his blog), but today Hillstead Publishing announced they’re giving 250 copies free to bloggers, of a book called “Living the Artist’s life”.

Unlike other book giveaways, there are no requirements to review, blog, or link. Time will tell if the ‘coversation’ gets bigger.


Disclosure: I am the webmaster of the book’s website


Liam Daly

Besides, I’m all for blaming things on Hugh.

3 comments for PR Secret Weapon: Free Stuff »

  1. I love free things too and have a particular interest in the arts. So I clicked eagerly to the site – maybe I could be one of the 250. But no, even if I had been first, it was only an offer for people with a US address. Sure, I have relatives in Connecticut I could ask to receive and forward the book, but the point I want to make is that I would have thought that better PR would include not needlessly irritating people who are never going to be able to get your free offer. As I have commented on the artist’s site, “Free to US Based Bloggers…” would have been a more accurate header for a global message, and the rest of us would not have bothered.

    Comment by Des Walsh — February 22, 2006 @ 8:15 pm

  2. The header “Free Books for US Based Bloggers” might have suited some people more but it itself is less accurate than the header “Free Books for US Based Bloggers With A Minimum of Three Months
    Blogging”, which might well irritate US-based bloggers who have only been blogging for two months. And it in turn fails to stress that there are no requirements to
    review, to link to, or to blog about the book – all common practice for book
    giveaways in the U.S. Where to draw the line for good PR and transparency – in a headline?

    The header “Free Books for Bloggers” as referring to US-based bloggers is
    considered appropriate and fair as a default because Hillstead Publishing,
    “Living The Artist’s Life”, the author, all related websites, and most bloggers communicating in the English language are US-based. And for good measure it’s stressed in the announcement as being ‘at this time’, and with apologies. Disappointment (at this time) I can understand; irritation seems unfair.

    Comment by Liam Daly — February 24, 2006 @ 2:09 am

  3. The offer has now been extended to bloggers worldwide.

    Comment by Liam Daly — March 3, 2006 @ 2:59 am

Leave a comment


(required but not published)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI




Posts via e-mail

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts:


Buzz Cloud:

Recent Readers:

Tag Cloud:


types of depression migraine symptoms building muscle for women how to get rid of back acne fast how to beat depression treatment for depression painkiller addiction signs workouts for women