Some business books lend themselves to creative campaigns. One that was highly successful was the Best Boss/Worst Boss contest that Planned Television Arts developed to promote The Corporate Coach: How to Build a Team of Loyal Customers and Happy Employees by James B. Miller, the CEO of Miller Business Systems (HarperBusiness, 1994).
The contest, which was promoted during Miller’s twenty-city tour, invited employees to submit essays describing their best and worst bosses. The grand-prize winner in each category received a trip to Hawaii. The contest generated many additional interviews for Miller during his tour as well as national placements, including three with the Associated Press. Both the Today Show and The Osgood File featured the contest winners and Miller’s book. Interestingly, the worst boss winner appeared in disguise.
Miller’s contest was so popular that he ran similar contests for another two years. He also used material obtained from the contests to write another book, Best Boss, Worst Boss: Lessons and Laughs from the International “Best Boss/Worst Boss” Contests (Summit Publishing Group, 1997).
Any entrepreneurial author should strongly consider running a contest. With the Internet, it’s not difficult.
By Rick Frishman
Reprinted from “Rick Frishman’s Author 101 Newsletter”
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