You can buy attention (advertising)
You can beg for attention from the media (PR)
You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales)
Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an ebook, a Facebook page.
David Meerman Scott talks about these ideas as part of a presentation at the Vocus User conference in June 2010.
In his bestselling book The New Rules of Marketing & PR (now in its second edition and published in 26 languages) Scott says "On the Web, you ARE what you publish!"