Live Your Fantasies AND Get Publicity: Why Charity Auctions are a Marketer's Golden Opportunity

Charity auctions are winning deals for everybody. The charity shows they are willing to put some effort into raising money. The people attending the auction get the opportunity to donate money and get unique opportunities. And most importantly to you, the business owners donating things to the auction get tremendous opportunities to get very positive publicity.

Thanks to charity auctions, I've been on stage in 10 Broadway shows, singing, dancing and speaking. I've also conducted the orchestra at Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I've gotten VIP treatment at the Pocono 500 NASCAR race and the Ringling Brothers circus, the opportunity to watch open heart surgery in the operating room, about 12 inches away from the patient. And just a few days ago I donated money at a charity auction and got the opportunity for me and my dog Robbie to be in Paul Sorvino's next movie. These are just a few of the many, many unique opportunities charity auctions have given me.

Now, I didn't tell you all of that to brag. There's a publicity opportunity in there. Actually, there are two publicity opportunities. Unfortunately, almost everyone involved missed out on those opportunities ' except me.

First, the person or company that made the donation had a great opportunity to get positive publicity just by sending out a press release announcing their support of the charity and their donation to the auction. Over and over I've told people to get as much positive publicity as they can. Because when the inevitable negative publicity happens, all the positive publicity that person has gotten will minimize the effects of the negative.

I can't tell you how many times people call my office or email me in a panic. Some negative publicity has just come out about them or their business. They want to know how to solve the problem.

My answer is always the same. "Have you done what I constantly recommend? Have you spent the past months and years gathering positive publicity?".

The answer is almost always the same: "No".

My answer to them is then almost always the same: "You're screwed!".

The only reason O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of those murders is that he had so much positive publicity built up over the years that the jury just couldn't believe he did it.

So as you can see, publicity can even save your life.

The second great opportunity for charity auction publicity happens when the person actually experiences the adventure they purchased. Only once in the dozens and dozens of charity auction adventures did the donor do this. It was when I did one of the Broadway shows. The producers of the show called one of the major newspapers and had the reporters follow me around while I was getting my makeup and costumes on, while I was standing off stage each time I was about to go on stage in a scene and follow me after the show was over and I took off my makeup and costume and walked out to meet all of my friends who had come to see the show.

I knew exactly what the producers were doing. They wanted to get the most mileage out of their donation. Very smart of then to do that. I helped in every way I could by thanking the producers, mentioning how generous they were to donate, etc. Everyone won in that adventure.

The third opportunity for charity auction publicity is for the person who donated the money to buy the adventure.

Every time I was going to do a Broadway show, I made sure I got press releases out announcing it to my community. I instantly was no longer just a member of the community. I was a celebrity. I was a benefactor of the charity. I was a philanthropist.

I'm a member of the local volunteer fire department in my area. No longer was I just another firefighter. I was a Broadway star.

All this because I wanted to help a charity.

You do donate to charities every year, don't you?

If you are a business owner, you do donate goods and services to charity auctions, don't you?

It's good for business, it's good for the charity, it's good for the community. And it's your spiritual duty to give back to the universe that has given you so much. (Got a little airy-fairy for you there, did I?)

But mostly importantly to the topic of this article, donating to charity auctions give you incredible opportunities for positive publicity - and you can always use that.

Paul Hartunian is the world's leading authority on publicity and self-promotion. At his website - - you'll find lots of information about how you can get free publicity for any product, service or business you're involved with. Get information about his complete publicity kit at Sign up for his free publicity ezine at You can reach Paul at (973) 857-4142. Or by email at

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