Can You Get Free PR?

How to make the most of your internet presence and increase your visibility is a subject many small business owners are grappling with. With the enormous speed in which social media is evolving, you probably have this question reverberate in your brain: am I doing all that I can do to advertise my business?

Even if you don’t have a big advertising budget, there are some things you can do to get free – or almost free – PR. But you have to know how to do it.

–          Do your homework – know what is happening in your niche, what makes you different and better. Identify local publications and trade magazines. See which writer writes about your area of business and what is he writing about (personal story, facts, sales?)

–          Build your story. It has to be compelling, short and to the point. It has to entice the writer to look into your new venture.

–          Choose the date carefully. Does your business have something to do with dates? Holidays? Writers are looking for things to write about which are relevant to the date of publication. They are more likely to look into your business if it has something to do with the date of the next issue.

–          There are few site you can go to which will cost relatively very little but will start you up on the road to a PR campaign:

PRWeb is one of them. Their site helps you create a press release and they will send to search engines, news sites, geographic location sites and 5 industry sites. Press releases start at $80 and go up to $360 if you want your release to appear in big newspapers like New York Times or USA today.

1888 Press Release – a similar service to PRWeb but more variety in pricing and more control over the message. They also have editors going over your press release to check for grammar mistakes and appropriate content.

MediaSync. A site that aggregates material according to subject or market and allows you to see who writes about your kind of business. It also lets you contact the writers or bloggers to offer them new information to write about. Their service is free. In the future they will introduce a paid subscription for going deeper in measuring the influence the writer has had.

Handle Your Own PR. A service designed for medium and small businesses, it offers PR tips, media lists and press release writing assistance.

These are but a few initial steps to increase the visibility of your small business, but these steps cost you – in time, not money. It has been said that the most expensive element a small business owner has is his time. If time is an issue, contracting a consulting firm that knows all the ins and outs of online advertising world and social media websites. There is much more that can be done to increase your business visibility.


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