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Home » Marketing

7 Low Cost Tips to do your own PR

Entrepreneurs often wear many hats, from sales, IT whizz and bookeeper. PR is just one of the many hats. All areas which compete for your time.

Good PR can make the difference between your launch making a mighty dent or making a ripple.

The good news is that the media (and we’ll include bloggers here) are much more likely to want to deal with the founder or business owner than a PR professional. So, don’t think you need a big budget to get good PR.

Here’s 7 low cost tips to help you do your own PR and help your next product launch or your business become more noticeable.

1. Start small

No matter how good your product,  it’s unlikely that you’re going to appear on the front page of the national newspapers when you announce your product.  So start by building up your credability by working with your local paper or free paper to feature a profile of your product.  That way the nationals are more likely to take notice of what you have to say as you’ve established credibility.

2.  Become an ‘expert’ source

You can establish your credibility as an ‘expert’ by helping reporters answer questions about your market or solutions for their problems.  One such site for bringing reporters and sources together is Help A Reporter. This is a free resource which lists media opportunities and sends out daily round ups of stories needing sources to subscribers.

Another way to connect to reporters or bloggers covering your niche is by following them on Twitter and keeping upto date with what their doing.  That way when you here them mention what they’re doing you can helpfully help them out.

3.  Be Timely

Reporters by and large are looking for newsworthy stories ie current. So consequently it’s no good telling them about your Christmas products in February.  But do bear in mind that some printed magazines start putting together their editions several months before publication, so that means that if you want coverage in time for Christmas, you need to be contacting them in September /  October.

4.  Be Different

Just think of your own email account and how many messages you get which you delete without opening.  In all honesty it’s probably going to be the same for reporters and bloggers.

So if you want to be noticed, you need to be noticed.  How about sending postcards or greetings cards instead of emails? For many  people getting something in the mail is something of a novelty and if it’s personalised, rather than ‘junk’ mail it’s more than likely to get you noticed.

5. Get on YouTube

Personality is a big thing in PR – Just ask Gary Vaynerchuk – make your own videos and talk aobut the product. They don’t have to be Hollywood directed and produced just good quality and make sure your personality shines through.

6. Share your press

Whenever you get press be sure to shout about it on Twitter, Facebook  and your blog.  With retweets ans shares your publictiy can snowball.

Don’t forget that by posting links to your media coverage can help you get more press.

Consider putting together a media kit on your website whcih includes photos, links to you videos together with contact information.

7. What to do if it all goes wrong

First thing is to keep your cool. When someone does write aobut you show your manners and thank  them. If facts are incorrect or if important information is missing contact the reporter or editor and ask for a correction. Don’t come out all guns blazing as that never looks good. But if something is libelous or contains serverly damaging information you may wish to seek the advice of a lawyer and maybe more specialist PR advice.  But that, is almost certainly not going to be cheap.

The most cost effective  solution is to write a response politely correcting the facts and Tweet it like mad and tell your biggest fans your existing customers who may well come out and defend you.

What do you think? Any ways you’ve got cost effective PR?

Empire Building Kit

9 Comments »

  • Ben said:

    There are some great tips here Matthew. Even though Marketing may have changed, social media etc, good PR will always be a benefit to any business.

  • Eleanor Edwards said:

    Great advice here Matthew. I’m a massive fan of new media and to be honest, because my focus with both Give A Brick and Heaven and El is online, I don’t tend to spend a lot of time courting journalists offline. That said, there are times when it’s necessary. From my experience, making contact via phone is always going to get your message in front of the right eyeballs much more easily than an email which, as you say, will probably just get deleted.

    The only other point I wanted to make is about magazines. Many put an issue to bed three months ahead of publication. If you want an article published in time for Christmas, start making contact 6 months before hand. You wait until Sepember and for the big guns you’ll be too late.

  • Savings Sally said:

    Great tips! I haven’t had to do my own PR yet, and I hope I don’t have to anytime soon. But if I do, I’ll be sure to follow your advice.

  • Steve said:

    Great tips Matthew.

    It makes it seem like a little PR really isn’t that hard to do on your own. Which it likely isn’t.

    After all you never really know what you can and cannot d until you try.

  • Sunday Selections | Marketing for the IT Professional said:

    […] Low Cost Tips To Do Your Own PR – Get more media attention without spending a dime. […]

  • Julius said:

    I really enjoyed reading your PR tips. I recently read KaChing the new book from Joel Comm and it got me thinking about how you can use PR effectively. This is a great addition to what Joel mentioned. Thanks Matthew.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Thanks Julius, I’m glad you’ve found some additional info to help you. I’ve not heard of KaChing, but I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks so much for the comment!

  • blog and business said:

    blog and business…

    Last but not the least; make sure you have alternate sources of income on your site apart from AdSense. You just don’ t want all of your eggs in one basket, plus you don’ t want your site tagged as a MFA site– made for adsense. It’ s just good business…

  • reeha@gift ideas said:

    Nice useful tips Matthew. I am already going with most of the points you mentioned however i was lacking some points which you pointed out and now i also go with them. thanks a ton for this great write up.