If you’re like many small-business owners in today’s economy, hiring a press relations or PR rep isn’t in your budget. But you still need to get the word out about your business. Don’t fret. Here are five PR moves that you can make yourself.
- Create a media kit. Media kits are sent to reporters, investors, and anyone else who wants or needs a quick overview of your business. Many companies now use digital media kits, which package everything — company background, executive bios, contact information, etc. — into one convenient electronic file. Putting one together can be a time-consuming task, but it’s completely doable. Need help? Download a free template here.
- Write a press release. Press releases are fairly straightforward to write, but you’ll want to follow certain rules to avoid looking like an amateur. For instance, don’t tell people about your company; tell them how your company can make their lives better. Another, better option: Tie current events or industry trends to what’s happening at your place of business and submit the story idea to press agencies. Concept Marketing Group offers a free e-book [PDF] that teaches you how to write your own release and get it in front of the right people.
- Beef up on social media PR. Social media is quickly changing the way business people approach public relations, and you owe it to yourself to get up to speed. For example, PR Newswire and Crowd Factory released figures that show Facebook users share more press releases (48 percent), but Twitter generates the most views (2.2 compared with Facebook’s 1.7). Adding multimedia components, such as photos and videos, increases engagement by 14 percent. Check out HubSpot’s free e-book on the subject.
- Use a blog to promote your company. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog attract 55 percent more visitors to their websites. Business blogs can do many things to enhance a company’s image, such as give it a personality, promote new products and services, create interaction with customers, and allow search engines to more easily find the site. The key is to be consistent and relevant. Ready to start blogging, but don’t know where to start? Take a free online course, or download a free e-book on the topic.
- Become a media source. Being quoted as an expert in an article can not only point potential customers your way, but also boost your credibility. Don’t wait around for reporters for contact you. Sign up with Help a Reporter Out. Since 2008, HARO has facilitated almost 7.5 million media pitches. Want to get in on the action? Remember that reporters are typically bombarded with dozens of pitches, so yours will need to stand out. Learn what not to do from the site’s founder, Peter Shankman.