Getting extra exposure by getting on the news and other TV shows!
One of the best way to get free exposure was to use the local newscasts. Any opportunity to have the local news casts to get your name on the news in a positive way was always welcomed.
Donating money to charitable foundations.
We were lucky to be able to collect money through our stores for different charitable associations. One such event was The Jerry Lewis Telethon. Many national companies, whose products we sold, would have programs to donate money from sales or purchases of their products. They would let the retailer present a check on behave of the retailer and the national company to the local Telethon.
USA would also collect money for different organizations like JDRF. At the end of the chain wide collection, all the money that was collected, plus usually money would be added from our foundation. would be presented to the organization with a check. A presentation at our office would be made with all media being invited. Usually, at least one of the local newscast would have time to show the presentation.
In addition to the check presentation, the charitable organization would let us have a booth or representation at their major event (such as the America Lung Association fire escape climb in Little Rock). The organization would let us put a banner up. Most of these events would be on the local news with the high probability of having your banner being seen on the tape.
Making your own event or teaming up with others.
USA Drug teamed up with local law enforcement to help people clean out their medicine cabinets from old prescription medication. At the time both Arkansas and Oklahoma ranked high in having teenagers abuse old drugs by taking them out of their parents medicine cabinet.
People needed to be educated in that it is environmentally unfriendly to just flush the drugs down the toilet. Many local stations let us with the law enforcement agency on local news, morning programming to announce the event. Afterwards all local news would have some type of report on what was collect.