Getting great PR and marketing for your business are so important because if nobody knows that your company exists, you don’t have a business.
And because nothing gets great PR better than playing the guitar and piano at the same time, this blog post is sponsored by Internationally renowned virtuoso guitarist Mike Walsh, who is now offering individual music lessons (guitar, bass, sax, clarinet, trumpet, etc.) to anywhere in the world via webcam. Click the photo below to see his incredible mastery for yourself:
With Mike’s unparalleled talent as the inspiration, I decided to ask the CarolRoth.com contributor network of entrepreneurs and experts what their best tips are for landing free or low cost PR/Marketing for businesses. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.
You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the concepts separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Articles, Articles, Articles
Writing articles is the simplest, most cost effective way to market yourself and get PR. If you are consistent in your writing, say 4-5 articles per week on topics of which you are either an expert or interview experts, these articles go viral. It's not one to one, it's one to many, while you are doing other things! Participating in blogs - such as Carol Roth's - is another way to market yourself.
2. The Shoestring Entrepreneur!
I have an entire LIST of ways to get free or low-cost PR/marketing. At the top of my list is MerchantCircle.com.
You can register a free membership, create your member page, write blogs, newsletters, and create coupons all for free. So many perks with this organization - it's not to be missed!
The search engines LOVE bloggers, by the way, so the more blog posts you can create, the better. You'll be all over the internet in no time if you start blogging.
3. Target Shooting
If you know your customer/clients, you will know what they read, where they congregate and socialize and how they communicate. This knowledge will tell you what kind of PR will reach them, so that you spend your time and effort efficiently. It will also make your information more relevant, thus increasing the likelihood that your information will be published, used and picked up by others. Target PR provides the best results.
4. Readers Comments Box Goldmine
After most articles, there is a reader's comment box that is a goldmine for free publicity. Not only do the article's readers check it out, but the author of the article usually reads it as well. If you offer important information, the author may use you or your client for a future story.
5. Best Way of Getting Free PR?
My favorite way is through Twitter. I'm fortunate to have led a panel on Branding in the Food Writing industry at the recent IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Winter Conference in NYC. My focus of the panel was how Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn have all contributed to my success through the best reason of all... Passion! It's also important to stress that all of these mediums are FREE! Creativity is the only thing holding you back!
6. Social Media is on the Rise
Social media and networking sites are no longer just for communicating with friends and sharing family photos. Small businesses are utilizing free sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to create an online presence and spread the word about their products and services. For some businesses, these sites play as valuable a role in marketing as their company Web site, if not more so. They provide a comfortable, familiar setting for people interested in learning more about your business.
7. Money for Nothing
Volunteer your businesses' specialty as a service for a charity function or, if you're a retailer, volunteer your time. A hair salon can do hairdressing for a charity fashion show; a tire salesman can be a waiter for a fund-raising dinner. You get the opportunity to mingle with guests and chat about your business. Your business card or promotional item may be placed at each seat or in gift bags. It's great low cost exposure with tax benefits and you will be viewed positively by prospective clients!
8. Coffeehouse Video Shoot
To promote your company and what you do, partner with a local coffeehouse and shoot your next video segment there. Ask them for permission of course and invite your friends and associates to be part of the video shoot. Work out an arrangement with coffeehouse to have free coffee provided for those in the video and promote the coffeehouse before, during and after the shoot. This will also intrigue other people to inquire about what you are doing and you can promote your business to a captive audience.
9. Make THEM Look Good!
Understand that the people that will give you Press have busy schedules, demanding bosses, and tight deadlines. This means submitting releases that are timely and relevant to current events, complete with all the information they need.
The bottom line here is to demonstrate how helping you helps them with their job. Get good enough at it, and you'll be the one they call when they need space to fill on a deadline.
10. Press Release Brand Building
Press Releases are a very effective and free tool to promote a company, product or service, or even a blog. Press releases can get your name out there in front of thousands of interested visitors and are a great way to embed your brand in the minds of your targeted audience. There are many free press release distribution sites like dBusinessNews, where newsfeeds and press release posts are carried by major distribution services such as Google & Yahoo.
11. Media Relations Relationships
Be the resource the journalist is looking for and become the person they turn to. Understand their reporting style and focus, who their audience is, and where the hook is.
12. REPORTERS NEED HELP!
HARO! (Help A Reporter Out) One of the lowest-cost (i.e., free) ways to potentially grab media interest is through sites set up to HARO!
Reporters and media representatives post daily requests for sources to guest on broadcast radio and web shows, or contribute to books or other written publications. (I have personally captured several broadcast radio talk-show spots in this way.) The cost to apply is only your time!
13. Vista Print to the Rescue!
Vista Print is an online printing company that offers freebies to customers all of the time! Their first offer is 250 free business cards and the offers pour in after you place that first order for free business cards. I have received free notepads, pens, magnets, postcards, mailing labels, self-inking rubber stamps, letterhead, tote bags and the like with my own company logo for little to no cost.
14. Find the Win-Win
Look for synergetic situations and solutions where multiple businesses win. Cross market. Collaborate. This Blog is a perfect example.
What's in it for Carol: A wide variety of contributors sharing thoughts and ideas at no cost to her- low amount of her time for a high volume of content.
What's in it for Me: A chance to share thoughts and ideas on a variety of business topics- free PR/Marketing for my company, Synergetic Solutions and myself.
15. Hold a Public Event for "Free"
Host a free event in your area. It could be a book signing, CD Listening Party or Networking Meet Up for your local area. Contact your local radio, TV and Internet news web sites. You can generate "buzz" and awareness for your brand and have a great time doing it. Don't forget to Tweet about the event and post it on all social media platforms. And, do a good deed. You will want to take up a collection for Japan relief efforts and support the Red Cross. You will feel good and generate free PR.
16. Free is Easier Than You Think
Being quoted or featured in "brand name" magazines, newspapers, blogs and radio shows builds credibility. Target media outlets for stories that best represent your brand vs. blindly answering every possible request. Start with these free resources from my link:
■Reporter Connection is targeted to business owners
■HARO (Help A Reporter Out) was the first and contains a wide variety of media opportunities
■Pitch Rate also offers PR audios
■Guest Radio for Internet and radio interviews
17. Ride on Famous Coat Tails
Write a short article and submit it to publication with worldwide readership. At the bottom of the article, you can promote yourself and your site. For example, Stephen Covey has several publications for business people. Appear in just one and your name--while it may not become a household term--will be seen by a huge audience.
Thanks to: Marlene Caroselli.
18. Leverage Giveaways
Most businesses understand that product giveaways/contests are a great way to reward their community. Most miss the fact that they should piggyback/package their giveaway/contest with another company. Pick a partner who can offer value and lots of eyeballs for your company within their community. For the cost of your product, you get more eyeballs and leads than if you go it alone.
19. Just Playing Around!
We use active entertainment items to get us noticed. Trade shows will allow you more room than just your normal booth size when you use them because they entertain the participants... so you can look like a bigger presence. We use golf putting and driving games, prize wheels, Plinko- all items that can be purchased or rented easily. We use these same items for non-profit events. It keeps us in front of the people we want to sell to and we can interact easily because we are playing a game.
20. Start Showing Up!
Consistency is the best PR and marketing tool in the world. Apply consistency to the free Internet platform called BlogTalkRadio and you'll have a winner. You can use BTR in 2 ways. First, do a search for popular radio shows in your topic and email the hosts to request interviews. As a talk show host myself, I know we are always looking for great guests. Send your Media Sheet and be professional in your approach. Tell them what you offer. Second, start your own show and keep showing up.
21. Free PR Using Social Media
LinkedIn has hundreds of Groups that companies can join that target their specific audience, such as chemical manufacturers, logistics, etc. You can post news, blogs, and articles to the groups, which will send out a daily email to group members that include a link to your article. It is like free email marketing.
22. FREE FOOD Means FREE MENTIONS
If you own a restaurant, the fastest and least expensive way to garner free publicity for your company is by delivering HOT FOOD to a local radio station.
The two most important words in the food industry are FREE FOOD. Why radio and not TV? One word- SECURITY. It's much easier to get access to the on air talent in radio than TV. Call the station just before you arrive. Don't ASK if they want food, just deliver it. The smaller the market, the better your chances are of getting mentioned.
23. Promote Thy Self
Promote, Promote, Promote is the best way to build your brand and establish you as the go to person in your industry. Whenever you have news regarding you, i.e. Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Best Chef in the State or news regarding your business, i.e. your business made the newspaper, etc., send out an announcement or a press release to your e-mail list. Let people know what your business is doing. Don't be ashamed to promote.
24. HARO, HARO, HARO!
HARO stands for "Help a Reporter Out". This free service, started by Peter Shankman, consolidates reporter requests for sources on a wide variety of topics.
3 times each business day, a digest of these queries appears in my inbox. A quick 2 minute scan of the topics lets me determine if I want to respond.
Through HARO, I've been quoted in numerous on-line and off-line publications and even got to write a chapter for an e-book. Cost to me? Nothing but my time!
25. Do Something Notable
Getting free PR is very simple: do something notable. Do something different and memorable, something that is amusing, audacious, or outrageous. Do something that others will care about, that provides value in their own lives. In short, filter any proposed activity by this test-- will people talk about it around the water cooler on Monday? If the answer is yes, PR happens naturally and organically-- the story will get picked up in this hyper-connected, social-networked, up-voting world.
26. Give Me Back My Envelope!
Give each customer that walks through your door a sealed envelope with your company stamp on the back fold (at the seal). Tell the customer to take it home and NOT open it. If they bring the envelope back on Monday, one of your staff will open it in front of them -- and they'll receive whatever prize is listed inside.
27. Would it Interest the Postman?
Is your release interesting to your postman? We're fortunate here in that we have a very kitschy and unique product, so we get a lot of press. Always focus on what makes your release newsworthy to anyone. Highlight the human interest angle if it affected someone's life. Find the one fun, unique, different, or crazy thing about it that is worth writing about. Make it fun; make it different. Again, if you can attach a story to it, so much the better! And if there is a cool visual....send it!
28. Magnetic Signs on My Vehicle
I have a Magnetic Sign on the right and left sides of my van, with a third Magnetic sign on the back door of my van. Everyone who follows me sees that sign and calls me at the phone number listed on that sign. It is low cost for each sign. If I lose one in a car wash, I order another. Those signs have gotten more attention, and I have received more calls from someone seeing my signs than any other single thing I have ever done!
29. Be a Stowaway
Hitch a ride on someone else’s bandwagon by joining their conversation. You talk to your audience all the time. Broaden the reach of your message by talking to someone else’s. This is particularly easy to do in the social media realm. Of course, you have to add value or your voice will not be heard. So add tips, add stats, add humor or simply add a different perspective. Do it right and it will add up to a win for you.
An example? Submitting this tip to Carol Roth’s blog.
30. "Sweat-equity Marketing"
YOU are your own best reporter and therefore, I turned to citizen journalism for my marketing needs. I call it "Sweat-equity marketing". I have posted stories and a blog in the citizen journalism newspaper/website called YourHub.com for years. The website chooses well-written pieces to put in its print edition every week, and often my stories and blog entries on courtesy make the hard copy cut. It doesn't cost anything, it's circulated all over town, and my only investment was my time.
31. Nailing Media Contacts
Do you know all of the radio personalities in your area? Determine which media fits your market, and then get introduced to the media personalities on that media. If they are running a remote event, go there and introduce yourself. Often times, the personalities are also the program director or other influencer. They are always looking for interesting topics to draw listeners. Provide them a controversial topic or something relevant to the current news. They will often times have you on their show.
32. Be Unusual and Unconventional
My one best tip for getting Free or Low Cost PR/Marketing for business is to be unconventional while utilizing what you do have. This may sound "crazy" for a lack of a better term, but with my wife in agreement with me, I paid a small fee to have my website and my book cover plastered on all four sides of our truck. I simply go throughout each day fulfilling my daily obligations and I am actually marketing while I'm driving. I have had many people contact me and purchase my book because of our car.
33. Help Them Help You
The most productive & efficient way that I generate free publicity is by proactively contacting magazine writers and editors in my field, and "help them help me". They need to fill up their publications with stories and info. So, I periodically reach out to them offering to provide "boots on the ground" insights and perspectives on the industry and trends. They appreciate the assistance (I have even authored some of the articles for them) and my companies certainly benefit from the free exposure.
34. It's Not Always About You
Get involved in your community. Offer to be the spokesperson to help a local nonprofit that would not otherwise have a voice. You will be noticed and feel good too!
35. The Secret Marketing Tactic
Of all the marketing strategies, there is one secret that is so powerful, yet so simple, you probably overlooked it.
That tactic is to consistently and genuinely care about your clients' success, outcomes and challenges.
Then, use integrated marketing tactics to deliver your "care" message. Mix it up. Use greeting cards, emails, phone calls or personal visits, for example. Or talk about your clients' success on your blog and in social media.
The benefit is more business and referrals.
36. Free Advice is the Best
Ask other businesses what they did for the best publicity. If a competitor will not help you, ask on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or submit it to a group you are involved in for an area of discussion. If all else fails, there are many courses available that can help you for a fee to learn multiple ways to get free publicity. Many say why pay for free advice. The person putting on the seminar or webinar has taken the time to do the research for others. Your time spent researching is money lost.
37. Hire a Publicist for an Hour
If retaining ongoing PR is not in your budget, hire a publicist for an hour or two of one-on-one consultation. You’ll get loads of ideas, reference materials, and contacts tailored to you, your business, and the markets you want to reach. There are also several excellent free PR and marketing newsletters. Subscribe and pick up ideas that you can do yourself.
38. Free Media/PR Opportunities
For any business owners, bloggers or marketing people in general, I suggest you subscribe to The Reporter Connection.
This is a free resource which is emailed to you daily with offers to get PR or to interact with reporters, authors and/or bloggers who are all looking for specialists in particular fields or on specific topics.
I've been successfully interviewed twice and have submitted my content for various requests.
Join Here - http://www.ReporterConnection.com/JoinNowFree/
39. Look to the Up-and-Comers
Colleges--the single best tip for getting free or low-cost PR/marketing for businesses is colleges. Business schools--graduate and undergraduate--all over the country are requiring their students to have real-life experience working with real companies on real projects. Some as individuals, some as part of a team, but all are eager and educated. This assumes "free" refers to money rather than time, because it does take some time to manage them, but in my experience, it's worth the investment.
40. Contribute and Be Rewarded
Search for blogs that frequently publish tips and knowledge from contributors (like this blog post). All contributors are awarded with a link to their site and have an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise. You can find bloggers who are currently searching for contributors on Blog Stampede.
41. Students Building Portfolios
Contact career services & educators at your local university. There are a LOT of students looking for projects to build their portfolios for prospective employers...and teachers looking for "real world" projects in the classroom. We've had accounting students do cost & B/E analysis on projects, communication students create videos, and marketing students help with advertising- all for a few bags of coffee!
42. Find Reporters Already Looking
I've been quoted repeatedly in the NY Times, Wall St Journal, L.A. Times, Christian Science Monitor, Woman's Day, Entrepreneur and many others--by subscribing to every service I can that matches reporters with story sources: helpareporter.com, reporterconnection.com, pitchrate.com, radioguestlist.com (all free), and profnet.com (paid). Responses need to be quick and substantive, with contact info.
43. Get Social
Digg, Quora, Reddit, Hacker News and more are sites that are coming to popularity as publicity outlets because lots of people love to see interesting businesses and comment on them. If you can get someone credible within those communities to submit your business, you can see a lot of free traffic flowing in.
44. Give it Away!
Okay, donating makes it free to others, not to us. But you are doing good and grateful organizations will acknowledge the gift to their members. The group may not be your primary audience, but the good deed will not go unnoticed.
45. Who? What? Where? When?
If you can answer the four questions above then you have NEWS to share. Whether it is in print or online, the media is always interested in "Names and Faces". Who works where, when and doing what? You don't necessarily have to hire in order to get press. Just promote someone to a new position and you have a who did what, where and when.
46. Take to the Airwaves
Once a month, I give funny insights to happenings in our community on a highly rated Sunday morning talk show in the Nashville Area. Holmes Pest Control is mentioned in promos and many tune in to hear my out of the box thinking from a pest control owner perspective on life and living. Very different!
It has been great advertising for my company and has lead to other marketing opportunities. Every community has a radio show that needs a great guest personality to liven up the show. Go for it!
47. Deliver the Magazine
At the launch of a new Business to Business Magazine, write an article and when it is in print, deliver the magazine to top hotels and set up a meeting between the editor and house manager. I did this and the article was printed for free...the magazine was delivered to every room booked by a visiting company.
48. They Have Need of You....
Many magazines (ezines too), newspapers and talk shows offer FREE business spotlights because they are in need of unique stories on a continual basis - do the research and submit your company for some of these spotlights - they garner dynamic visibility and website traffic. They have need of you...tell your story...
49. Know What You Do
I've said it before and I'll say it again...to get good PR and to attract the right people to you and your business, you need to be able to confidently tell others who you are and what you do. Keep it simple....I am a [blank - your business] that works with/helps/teaches [blank - target market] how to [blank - identify challenges] so that they can [blank - results]. Once you've gotten down what you do, practice sharing it...often. And make sure your website has the same, clear message.
50. Host a Charity Event
One of the fastest ways to get free publicity for your business is to host a charity event and invite a celebrity to attend the event. The celebrity could be a politician, a government official or a movie star. Then, invite the press for the charity event and hope that they cover your event in their media outlets.
Don't forget to send a press release at least a week before the event to local media outlets and have a media kit in hand to distribute to the press at your event.
51. Ways to Get PR
Although not necessarily unusual, the best way to get free PR for your company is to give a speech. I have built large businesses that way and it led to my becoming a professional speaker for 30 years. I am now once again using this method to launch a new business I have started and find it still works as well, although the bookings are harder to get (even free).
52. Help!!!!! --Your Friends First
The best way to "get" anything in life is to "GIVE" first. As it relates to getting free or low cost PR/Marketing for your business, simply refer your business friends to the people who know and trust you. It's that simple! A consumer is 80% more likely to consider, and 35% more likely to accept a referral from someone they know and trust you. Since you have people who know and trust you (consumer friends), refer them the people you know and trust (your business friends).
Thanks to: Steve Gallegos.
53. Share the Wealth
Share your expertise with the news media when topics related to it are in the news. The only cost is the time you put into pitching/sending a news release. 4 Quick tips: 1. Provide solid, practical information/insight. 2. Don't try to sell your product/services. 3. Act quickly, while the story is hot. 4. Keep your pitch/press release short and to the point. When the news media quotes you, it's a third party confirming for your clients, and potential ones, that you're an expert at what you do.
54. Use Tradeshows as PR Opps
Used correctly, tradeshows can be a free ticket to media coverage of your company. Some last-minute things you can do to grab your share of the spotlight:
*Secure the event media list from conference management
*Distribute a basic press kit to event media - background, mission statement, leadership, products, services
*Attend workshops and panel discussions and ask questions during Q&A, identifying yourself and your company
*Draft a post-event press release- distribute to event media
55. Free PR for Online Businesses
Write an article that answers a question asked frequently by your customers. Post it on your site, your blog, and other sites related to your business. Visit forums related to your business and post a link to the article when someone asks a similar question. Note- it must be an article and not an advertisement.
56. The Beauty of Tie-Ins
Tie-ins are a great way to get small, unknown businesses “out there”. There are many ways to do this, and the key is to be creative and topical. Look at the macro-environment in which your business exists. What can you connect with that people are talking about that will help promote you? Perhaps you can partner with a well-known organization (for profit or not)? There could be a relevant “Day” such as Family Day or Earth Day? Or run a promotion with popular websites or magazines.
57. YOU Deserve FREE Exposure
I found radioguestlist to be a gold mine of exposure for Operation Just One Can, which I founded. You can get daily email requests by myriad internet and other radio shows looking for ideas to talk about. The opportunities to be interviewed are FREE! Yes, you'll be sifting through requests on a broad range of topics. But the payoff for me has been startling. I have been interviewed in numerous geographic and media markets across the United States that also broadcast the show internationally.
58. Marketing with Social Media
One of the best low cost marketing strategies today is Social Media - all you have to invest is your time and you can get sales, build relationships and move your business forward because you are looked at and considered a leading expert in your field. Social media is also a good way to build your list if you understand it's about building relationships and sharing great content and relevant tips.
59. Free Ink Easier Than You Think
Magazines and other publications are hungry for quality editorial material. Funds are limited and staff is stretched. So, if you provide an on-target, subject appropriate article with quality photos/graphics, they are likely to use it. While your success can vary greatly by magazine and industry, there are no doubt suitable publications in every market where you can get FREE press. Just "clone" your article to look like ones the magazine already uses and find the right person for submittal.
60. Never-Fail Tip For Free PR
My never-fail tip for getting free PR is writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Tie into a trending or newsworthy topic, or simply request some type of action on the part of the reader (e.g. write your congressman, save a local park). This not only puts you in front of your newspaper’s entire circulation, but it also puts you on the newsroom’s radar. I've had many successes for clients with this simple method and it has even resulted in feature stories written by the paper!
61. Show and Tell
We invite potential clients to a one day seminar called Your Public Speaking Workout. They get to see what we do, and then they hire us! We got one of our biggest clients using this method. Also, we offer one of the seats to a local non-profit. The non-profit gets to share their story with the group. The cost is basically coffee and bagels. We charge $199 for the seminar, since people value it more when they have to pay a little. We limit the class size to 8 so everyone gets lots of attention.
62. You! Start Talking!
Give free lectures on your business in churches, synagogues, shopping malls, clubs, etc.
You own a hairdressing salon? Talk about hairstyles. A dress shop? Talk about fashion.
A restaurant? Demonstrate recipes in shopping malls. You're an expert (yes, you are!) so
talk everywhere you can.
Thanks to: Miriam Silverberg.
63. Press Releases are Not Dead~
Use press release strategies to get credibility and publicity. Submit to FREE and paid online distribution sources and media outlets to increase search engine rankings and garner exposure in business journals, newspapers, radio shows and television morning shows.
The Write On Creative Press Release producer generates social media buzz. It’s a FREE tool that anyone can use to learn how to properly format press releases: http://writeoncreative.com/pressreleaseproducer/
64. The Media Hungers
One of the greatest ways to get publicity is the media. A good media pitch about how you or your business is unique and newsworthy can get you widespread coverage for FREE. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the media is inundated with requests all of the time. You will need to find an angle that sets you apart from others and shows that you have something to offer that is different or unique.
65. Trade, Trade, Trade!
Swap your own skills for the in-kind donation of PR/Marketing services. Whatever it is that you do, trade it for skilled services. I did a marketing brochure for a new-in-business life coach and got great career counseling - and she got a new marketing tool! A colleague of mine traded office space at a nonprofit in exchange for a several hours of PR expertise per week. It's just a win-win for everyone.
66. Goodwill Brings Good Publicity
Connect with a nonprofit. It brings employees together, builds goodwill and establishes new connections. If you partner with an established organization, their PR team can help with planning and promotion. If you chose a nonprofit based on a human connection (supporting the American Cancer Society because a coworker is a survivor), share this with the nonprofit and media.
67. Be Current & Give Back
What's the buzz around town or even around the world? Harness it and make it your own! When Andrew Cuomo, our local resident, was sworn in as Governor on January 1, we launched a signature soup, Lago di Cuomo, in his honor for our client Via Vanti Restuarant in Mt. Kisco. We gave a $1 donation for every soup purchased to the Westchester Food Bank! Ask your client if they have a cause that they are passionate about. Be creative and make it happen!
68. Be an Expert
Become known as an expert in your field and region and people will come to you for your services and products. Define yourself as an expert and create the narrative of your life in the way you want to be presented professionally. The most effective way to do this is to write a book. With the multiple new ways to get yourself published, including self-publishing, this has never been easier. The book is then your ticket to be interviewed on radio programs or in print.
69. The Power of Free
There are a number of ways an entrepreneur can use this principle to build a network and to raise awareness. I have built several businesses and organizations with virtually no resources by providing free valuable reports. By sharing your knowledge, you demonstrate your expertise and you build trust. Try to put "If you found this email useful, forward it on to a friend" in bold at the bottom. The more that you do to help people, the better your business and your life will become.
70. Become a Contributor
When you give, you put yourself in position to receive. When you contribute to a blog, you automatically receive publicity and get to connect with other great experts. The more you contribute, the more your name will make headlines.
71. Barter for Free Services
If you need free PR or marketing services, barter--exchange your product or service for the expertise of a PR or marketing consultant.
If you're looking for low-cost PR or marketing, hire a PR or marketing consultant as a "coach"--he/she can "coach" you on the best way to do your own PR. There are many free services and tools that can be used, if you know how to use them. This will be much less costly, as you're only paying for perhaps an hour or so per week of coaching.
72. Call Local Staff Writer for PR
The best way to obtain free PR is to go local, in other words pick up a local newspaper or read the online version to find out who the local staff writer is. I wanted more exposure for an online TV show I was producing. I called the staff writer and she scheduled the interview for the next day. The staff writer showed up with a photographer, interviewed me, took a picture and the following week I appeared in the newspaper.
73. Increase Your Impact Quickly
There are 2 major and over 20 smaller newspapers in our area. When we have an event at our therapeutic riding center, I need as much coverage as I can get. I used to mail or email a press release to each venue individually and got hit and miss coverage. Then, I discovered AmericanTowns.com. I created a profile for my facility, submit the press release and have them distribute it to selected venues. Now, almost every newspaper runs our event. We have seen a dramatic upswing of calls and attendance.
74. Make Your "Friday" Famous
Upload a really bad video to YouTube. Pay mturk.com folks 1.5 cents each to view the video. For $3K, you can get 200K views, enough to put you in YouTube's Top 20, which means a lot more people will see it. The public still decides if the video goes viral, but now you've
got a much better shot.
Is that how Melissa Black's "Friday" became popular? For $5K ($2K production, $3K promotion), arkmusicfactory.com generated tremendous interest in their production-quality vanity videos.
Help A Reporter Out is a great way to pitch your story, message, or expertise to various media channels, journalists, & bloggers to land some FREE press.
76. Try a Content Cocktail
Everybody needs content. And you need some gratis publicity to market your brand. Offering your knowledge to core channels, such as blogs and niche social networks can drive traffic to your site and make your phone ring. What's in the mix? One part value, one part relevance--and don't skimp on the subject-matter expertise. Offer this content in a form that works best for you--blog post, video, podcast, or article. Remember, this isn't hype, it's substantive content that can generate organic buzz.
77. You Be the Expert!
Go to Google News and find a recent news story that relates to your business or service. Then, make a list of journalists who cover this specific type of story and send them an email to introduce yourself and offer yourself as an expert on the topic for any other stories on this subject that they have coming up. Definitely follow up by phone as well. Establish a relationship with journalists and offer to help them out, rather than just sell your product or service.
78. Hands-on Approach Makes News
For a better chance to achieve news media coverage, offer reporters a chance to test/sample your product or service:
Have the biggest/best sandwich in town? Arrange for a reporter to eat one and do a story:
Train dogs? Have a reporter teach with you.
Clean homes? Let one dust and mop alongside you.
Detail cars? Get a reporter to work on one.
Teach piano? Teach a reporter to play.
79. Be a GIVER First!
Form your unpaid sales force with a tone of support and service first. Always think about how you can give fast and often, rather than what you can take. Nothing wins the hearts and minds of potential strategic partners more quickly. Powerful partnerships are still pound for pound one of the fastest ways to get your name & brand out there in a big way, over the life of your business - free!
80. Crazy Wavers Create Raving Fan
The Lady Liberty wavers have helped us build a brand quickly and inexpensively. We estimate that for every 2 hours we have a waver, we get a customer.
81. Potato Chips and PR
National Potato Chip Day was March 14. Our company Royalty Industries, LLC and The Adventures of Princess Zaria hosted a Potato Chip Party in recognition of the celebration. Our local paper, The Detroit News, came out to cover the event after receiving a pitch from me. We served a variety of potato chips to the kids including salt and vinegar, cheese, sour cream and onion, hot and honey barbeque. We played Electronic Hot Potato and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Contests.
82. The Return of the Intern!
How do you hire an intern? Contact the English, Journalism, or Communications departments at a nearby university and ask the admin or intern coordinator to send out your jazzy ad.
Whether they are paid or not, reward your interns handsomely with praise, gift cards, an honorarium, etc. Assign each intern just ONE part of your PR/Marketing such as article, social media, or video marketing.
Interns love a meaty internship with valuable training, and you'll get stuff done faster!
Do you know another tip that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to Mike Walsh and everyone that contributed to this article! To learn more about Mike’s webcam music lessons, recording studio, song-writing services, bands and more check out: www.mikewalsh.name