What We can Learn from the “Burger-King Wedding” about Promoting Ourselves

When a Burger (Joel) gets engaged to a King (Ashley), there is only one place for their official engagement photo — a Burger King restaurant.

photo: Ashley King, provided to the State-Journal Register

In the latest episode of a nice story which goes viral and gives some folks their brief moment of fame, it appears there is a couple, named Joel Burger and Ashley King, who are getting married, a.k.a., the “Burger-King” wedding. They’ve apparently known each other for many years, and through love and good fortune, are tying the knot.

As one would expect, Burger King, Inc., saw a great PR opportunity and jumped in on it, offering to pay for the entire wedding. No word if they will serve onion rings, rodeo burgers, or crispy chicken sandwiches as the catered meal, or if they will share Whoppers at the altar (okay, okay). Needless to say, this light-hearted story (which I have no reason to believe is being manufactured by BK for promotion purposes in this instance, though this does happen with some frequency) is a great way to make you feel warm and fuzzy about a business which I doubt caters a lot of weddings.

The point is, BK found an easy opportunity to promote itself, and took it. So for today’s topic, how does this help authors sell books? After all, most of us can or could barely afford our own weddings, let along a stranger’s.

But in this case fate had it that Mr. Burger and Mrs. King got engaged, and created an opportunity to jump on it for publicity. Authors, you can do it to. Say you wrote a book with unusual but not totally made-up names, such as a romance novel. Then it turns out a real-life couple with the same names as your characters really is getting married. Why not send them a $200 gift certificate, maybe some of your books, or something else, and then mention it on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube?

Or you find out someone has used one of your books at an event they were at and took a photo. Not only should you retweet/pin that photo, but I’d go ahead and send them an autographed copy of the book and interview them for your blog (who says fans can’t be guests on the blog)? Then, send them a prize pack.

Yes, it is somewhat shameless self-promotion, but so long as you don’t take away their joy and make it ALL about you, then there isn’t anything wrong with it. What are the odds of having an opportunity like that ever again?

The bottom line is, in this world, with so many distractions and choices for entertainment, we are competing against everything else out there for people’s money and attention. If fate presents you with an opportunity to get your name out there, even if only for a day, B&B strongly recommends you take it and not look the other way.

And speaking of shameless self-promotion, please make sure to follow my blog and my twitter @sammydrf.

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