Trying to build a business in these perilous times? You can generate free publicity even without fancy public relations. Follow these tips:
1. Blog. If you can write about your work with passion and verve, start a blog. Let your clients know about it through e-mail, fliers or direct mail. Link your blog to complimentary web sites containing other resources that will help your customers. The hardest part: Keeping it up.
2. Pitch ideas that ride on the latest news. Web-based news feeds, magazines and TV stations are hungry for stories. One enterprising computer geek told TV stations he was helping fight a new worm and had camera crews on site within hours.
3. Tie in your products and offers with the seasons, holidays or weather. Don’t forget fun holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day. Major League Baseball teams last year billed a September promotion as “halfway to St. Patrick’s Day.” Plus, there’s a celebratory month for almost everything now—what products might you offer for Women’s History Month?
4. Rehearse your pitch, focusing on what makes your story unique and compelling.
5. Ask for the news editor when you call media outlets. It helps if you can mention their recent coverage of the topic.
6. Pitch enticing visuals to TV stations or web sites with video links. Examples include throngs of customers or live entertainment.
7. Send letters to the editor at relevant publications on relevant topics.
— Adapted from “Generate Free Publicity For Your New Company,” Morey Stettner, Investor’s Business Daily.