Use the News to Market Your Small Business

By: Dan Kennedy on: July 9th, 2009 3 Comments

WHEN WILL NEXT GIANT METEORITE STRIKE EARTH AND CAUSE MASS EXTINCTION? There are actually people worrying about this sort of thing. According to the article from USA TODAY, the last bash was about 250 million years ago.

Apparently this is cyclical, so, according to this article, in another 50 or 100 million years, you may not want to be standing in the middle of Australia. Make a note of that on the calendar in your Palm Pilot. You’ll thank me later.

Well, why have I put this odd news item smack in the middle of  this post? Years ago, Sinatra recorded the “once there was a little old ant who thought he’d move a rubber tree plant”, High Hopes song on a bet, that he could take any piece they handed him, record it, and put it on the charts. A former client of mine, Dick Sutphen, took a similar wager, and made a cassette of rain falling on his Malibu roof and sold it successfully.

One of the “dares” I like taking is: hand me any newspaper and I’ll find something I can use to advertise or promote something of mine or my clients’. This particular day’s USA TODAY had slim pickings, so I got stuck with this meteorite story.

“So, if used as grabber, then “As you can see, I’ve sent you an article about a giant meteorite wiping out life on earth. Why have I sent you this? Three important reasons. Reason#1…”

For Ron LeGrand or Jeff Kaller:

You don’t have to wait until another giant meteorite strikes to find unbelievable real estate opportunities at dirt-cheap, bargain prices.

For Bob Higgins:

Free when we paint your house:

100-Million Year Warranty Against Meteorite Damage.

For Jack “Quick Kill” Williams:

How to defend yourself against attack by muggers, rapists, marauding mobs, terrorists, even giant meteorites — with your bare hands.

For Roy Myers:

Warning: Epic disasters can strike your investment portfolio – tomorrow, not 50 million years from now.

Ah, I got a million of

em. Good 2nd grabber’d be a little rock, a hunk of a meteorite. Or sand in a baggie; a do it yourself meteorite kit.

Yes, it is possible that, this month, I had a little too much time on my hands. But the demonstration has a legitimate point: there’s no shortage of “jumping off point” fodder for ads, sales letters, promotions, thus no excuse whatsoever for boring your customers or prospects, for turning out mundane copy. The daily news is ripe with opportunity and ideas. But you need to condition yourself to “read FOR what you can use”. Most people do not read for purpose, watch TV for purpose, even listen to the random conversations around them for purpose.

Great fiction writers listen to the conversations around them for purpose – to capture dialogue to use. I do the same thing, to capture “copy” for ads and sales letters.

You can program your subconscious to do this automatically, without conscious work on your part. You’ll have to do it very consciously and deliberately for 21 to 30 days, then your subconscious’ll get the idea and take over. So, get a notebook to carry around, and set a goal to capture “out of the blue” at least one hot, possibly useable idea — ad theme, piece of copy, title, etc. — everyday. Every day, read your newspaper with the goal and purpose of tearing out one item you can somehow use in your marketing.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

3 Responses

  1. Rob Anspach says:

    Newspapers and trash magazines have some of the greatest headlines that can be swiped and used for any marketing piece.

    “I got beat over the head by Dan Kennedy”… an entreprenuers success story!

    “101 year old man becomes butt-kicking commando”… discover his life altering secret!

  2. Excellent example of “turning a negative into a postive”: Finding a good reason to read a daily newspaper!

    Just make sure not to be effected by all the negativity and B.S….

  3. swollen gums says:

    Superb blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

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