Want to attract attention?
Give out an award. Doesn't matter for what. People like to be recognized, and the natural buzz associated with a competition will pay dividends for you as the sponsoring organization.
Exhibit A - The MarketingSherpa top blog awards (for which some of you nominated this humble blog). Think about how skillful the Sherpa people are in promoting their brand. They set up a contest for which the only prize is an icon to post on your web site (and the glory that comes with said adornment). Total cost to them - $0.
Then they set up a survey - well, two surveys. There were some technical difficulties with the first one. Total cost < $100.
And they send out email to their house list and let 'er rip.
The bloggers themselves, A-listers among them, post "vote for me" articles on their site. Some (you know who you are - your penance is to have a look at this post by Seth Godin) had their company send email to THEIR house lists, promoting the awards.
How much free media do you think Sherpa got from this contest?
The results? Multiple hundreds of thousands voting, coming to the MarketingSherpa site and, presumably, learning about the various products and services Sherpa provides.
By the way, if you haven't yet checked out the "best Podcast" winner Across the Sound yet, you really should. It's on my short list of the best business shows.