The media needs stories – you need publicity – so make it your goal to put the two together by looking out for interesting things that happen to you, your business, your customers and your staff; make a story out of it and send it off to relevant newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, not forgetting to put it up on the internet. It’s great publicity and adds to the public’s awareness of you and your business.

An example of how this approach works is this story we sent out on behalf of Newbarn Kia. It made the front page in their local newspaper last week:

Snakes alive! Hissing Sid causes Kia men to slither hither and thither …

“A really slippery customer slithered into a Bognor Regis car showroom. It was not so much a case of a tiger in the tank as a snake on the take at the Newbarn Kia outlet.

Salesman Michael Vincent came across the surprise visitor last weekend when he was serving a customer at the Aldwick Road premises.

He said, “It would appear that Kia’s famous seven year warranty not only charms customers but others as well.”

He was walking to the rear of the showroom when he saw the snake looking up at him. He later found out that it was a four foot long American corn snake – a constrictor which preys on mice and other small rodents.

Michael reacted in the same way as most people in the circumstances would do – he panicked, he screamed and he shouted.

Fellow salesman Martin Crisp arrived on the scene having been alerted by the commotion. The two of them, a broom and the owners of Blackmill furniture, Newbarn’s next door neighbours, was enough to throw a cardboard box over the intruder.

They sought the help of Sam Bailey, who runs nearby Aldwick Pets, a few doors down from the dealership. She identified the corn snake.

Michael telephoned the police on a non-emergency number – non emergency; you’ve got to be kidding! – and was advised to take the snake to the Reptile Rescue Centre at Earnley near Bracklesham.

A cardboard poster tube was found to transport the reptile, after a vuvuzela left over from a football World Cup promotion was quickly discounted.

Everyone else gladly left it to Sam to gingerly transfer the centre of the day’s entertainment from under the box into the cardboard tube.

The rescue centre said the corn snake was most likely an escaped pet.”

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