We're all for fun publicity stunts - but not many can pull off something as ridiculous as this. And we're not sure Meghan Trainor did. (Credit: Disney/ABC, Flickr)

We’re all for fun publicity stunts – but not many can pull off something as ridiculous as this. And we’re not sure Meghan Trainor did. (Credit: Disney/ABC, Flickr)

We suppose this is one way to steal the spotlight.

Singer Meghan Trainor recently released a new EP, “The Love Train.” As is customary, a press release was issued to promoted the album. The contents of said press release, however, were anything but ordinary.

We can’t share much of what it says — ours is a family-friendly website, after all. (For the curious, and the brave, the release is available in full over at Paper magazine.) But the sexually charged email blast alludes to love-making between Trainor and new husband Daryl Sabara, and offers some … rather colorful anthropomorphizing of an inanimate magazine.

It also makes liberal use of Internet slang. “[O]ur Grammy-Winning, Diamond Single-having QUEEN didn’t just come to play — she came to slay,” it reads. “She’s serving vocals on the passionate, Celine Dion-esque power ballad ‘After You.’ Plus, Meghan’s serving your insatiable thirst for dance-ready bops with the upbeat banger that is ‘Foolish.’ It slaps so hard you’ll be stanning for days.”

Yeesh.

Technically, the email accomplished its goal — over the weekend, it was even a trending topic on Twitter. However, the majority of the attention was focused on the release itself, rather than Trainor’s music. And while high-profile stunts can make a big splash, you don’t want them to distract from the business or product you’re trying to publicize in the first place.

Lawyer.com, an attorney finding service, struck a better balance when it brought on actress Lindsay Lohan as a spokesperson. Lohan evoked her past legal troubles, which include drunk driving incidents and accusations of assault, in her debut commercial, pointing to her personal need for legal representation as proof of her knowledge on the subject. It got a lot of attention, too, but Lawyer.com saw its profile elevated, rather than lost in the shuffle.

[Related: 5 Marketing Stunts That Turned Heads in 2018 (And What We Can Learn)]

So how can you effectively market your business — without becoming an accidental meme?

Turns out there are plenty of ways to get the word out, and without breaking the bank. First off, make sure you know exactly who your ideal customer is (a surprising number of businesses cannot describe potential clients). Figure out what differentiates your products from your competitors. Come up with an education-based elevator pitch that you can use to demonstrate your expertise and how your product can help your customer base solve a particular pain point.

Keep in mind: Research has shown that women entrepreneurs in particular have trouble promoting their products or services, in part because they don’t want to be perceived as egotistical. Some women suffer from “imposter syndrome,” where they routinely underestimate their abilities and performance. If deep down you’re lacking confidence, remember that belief in your business (and yourself) is the No. 1 predictor of success, more than other factors including gender, years of experience or even number of investors.

Bearing that in mind, networking, soliciting testimonials, engaging on social media and working with an SEO consultant are all low-cost options to consider when trying to elevate your brand.

[Related: 10 Tips for How to Market Your Business on the Cheap]

No matter what you do, have confidence in your business, and yourself. And while deciding which direction to go in, keep in mind that not all press is good press. Just ask Trainor — if she can hear you over the din of jokes, that is.