While grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, which I try to be doing as often as I can, they let me know they are having a “buy 2, get one free” special. Well, quick math told me that, that was a 33% savings.

I thought for another second and figured we drank about a pound a week. So, if I bought 50 pounds, we would be covered for the year, plus I would have saved 33%.

And that is how I presented it to my wonderful wife, April, and she agreed.

I thought again and asked Mary at Starbucks, a wonderful barista, if anybody had ever purchased 50 pounds of coffee at one time. She said no. So I said, “It would be a record for the Venice, Florida Starbucks?” And she replied, yes!

Then, I called a writer at the local newspaper and asked them if somebody set the record for the most coffee purchased at our Venice, FL Starbucks, would that be newsworthy? They promptly said, absolutely. They asked me to get a good picture and email it in with a short story about it.

I asked Mary if she could have 50 pounds ready later that day in the afternoon when Starbucks slowed down.

April and I show up. Grab the boxes. Stand in front of their cool shelves and made a silly pose for effect and Mary, using my iPhone, took the picture.

We sent the picture and a short story in and waited. Waited a couple of weeks. Then BAM, Front Page and in COLOR!


Here are three lessons to take away from this story:

  1. You don’t have to pay for ads. Ads are old school.
  2. Your local newspaper loves and need great fresh new stories!
  3. Writing up the story and send it in yourself will give you a much better chance of making the paper.


We took the article and wrote a blog post about it on our Burnett Painting blog and scored some serious SEO juice from it. I would ask customers how they heard about us and they would reply that they searched online for a House Painter in Venice, Florida, and that article came up and then we would have a laugh about it.

You can see that article here Burnett Painting Starbucks Post

So, how about you? How have you creatively landed on the front page, or just in the paper, without buying an ad? Please share below.


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