Talk about free advertising.
The Columbus/Franklin County News Bureau was established to generate national coverage of Central Ohio, and it appears to be earning its keep.
Last year, the bureau set a goal of generating $1 million worth of national coverage. It ended the year with an estimated $2.7 million in coverage, which is calculated using advertising rates for print and broadcast media.
This year, the bureau set a goal of beating last year's total by more than 10 percent and reaching $3 million in "free" coverage nationally. But as of now, barely halfway through the year, the bureau estimates it has helped generate $3.1 million in national coverage, including $856,000 in coverage of the recent While House Community Empowerment Conference held in Columbus.
And that's with …