I believe publicity is something accessible to virtually anybody. You don’t need a big PR budget, or to hire a PR agency on retainer, or to spend massive amounts of time to get free publicity for your business.
In fact, I’ve distilled the most essential publicity tools into just four things:
1. Media Pitch
The first thing you need is a media pitch. A media pitch is a news hook or story angle that would interest an editor to write about you, your company, or your product or service.
To get you started, read these 10 questions to help you write a media pitch.
2. Media List
A media list is a list of reporters or publications that you want to target for your media story. The list should be filled with journalists and media outlets that are relevant to your target customers. Find out what your target buyers read, watch, and listen to.
Compiling and keeping your media list updated is ongoing work. If you need help, read this previous post on how to build a media list.
3. Photos or Graphics
You need some compelling photos, or at least graphics, that journalists can use when they write or talk about you. If you have a book that you’re trying to sell or a software, then you want to have something that you can represent your product or service with. This could be an electronic cover, or a photo of your actual product, and your logo.
Earlier, I wrote about how to use photos to get free publicity. If you have quirky, fun and interesting photos, they can generate lots of free publicity for you by themselves.
Make a habit of asking your happy clients and customers for their feedback. For maximum credibility, ask permission to use their full name, location (City, State/Province and Country are usually sufficient), photograph, and URL (if applicable).
People expect you to say good things about yourself and your product/service. However, when somebody else says them, your audience is more likely to listen… and believe it.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to generate more exposure and media coverage of your business.
Using Your PR Toolkit
Keep your tools organized in a media folder, ready to be sent to journalists who request them, or when the opportunity to reach out to them arises.
Have both the digital and physical versions of your PR toolkit. Nowadays, it’s increasingly acceptable for journalists to receive information through email. However, you’ll encounter those who are suspicious of email attachments and will prefer a physical kit.
By knowing what essential PR tools you need, you can invest the time and energy to make sure you have the basics covered. Make sure you have the fundamentals in place, and you’ll always be ready to create free publicity for your biz.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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