Five Low-Cost Small Business PR Tips

Getting the word out about your latest company news whether it is a new product announcement or customer win is tough. If you don’t have a marketing or public relations department in-house, use a freelancer or outside agency, the task can be daunting. Where do you begin?

First, make sure what you are going to announce is newsworthy. Write your press release with all of the key components of who, what, when, where, how and why included in the first paragraph. This way if it is edited, all of your important news is included.

Once you have a release that is ready to go out, set up an account on Pitch Engine. It is free and you can create and distribute compelling social media press releases online. It even appears on Google News when it is posted.

What is a social media release? It is simply your press release with relevant links to graphics, video, web site links, etc. It offers a wealth of information for those interested in finding out more about your company.

You should also have a targeted media list of relevant contacts in your industry and for local, regional and business news, if relevant. Building your list is an ongoing project and if you don’t have a subscription to a database like Vocus or Bacon’s, you can still build it from going to media web sites and finding the journalist that covers your particular industry. Be sure to read a few articles to make sure they are the right person to contact.

Once you have this list, also send a short pitch with bullet points and a link to your Pitch Engine press release. Include your contact information as well and don’t include attachments. When writing your pitch, think from the perspective of the journalist and ideally, their readers – “What’s in it for me? Why should I care about this?” To learn more about pitching, check out the Good Pitch BlogBad Pitch Blog and see an example of a great pitch on Peter Shankman’s Help A Reporter web site.

You can also post your press release on a blog, include keywords as tags and then go to Technorati and claim your blog. This helps when people search your industry keywords. WordPress offers free blogs and a neat dashboard feature to track web traffic.

Set up a free Twitter account and find and follow people in your industry. Listen and engage in conversation – not to sell but to be part of the community. Offer expert advice and links to relevant industry news. LinkedIn also has a question and answer section where you can help people with relevant questions in your industry.

If you want to take it a step further and try to pitch journalists looking for story sources, subscribe to Help A Reporter (HARO) a free PR newsletter, and look for relevant queries. There are strict rules and if someone pitches off topic, you will be removed from the list.

And that is a great start into the world of public relations. Small steps. It is also a doorway into social media – the best way to learn it is to try it. One step at a time. You might like it!

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Posted on February 6, 2009, in help a reporter, press release, public relations, social media, social networks, twitter, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Found your blog after you added me on Twitter, and I’m glad I checked it out. This article gave me some really good ideas to use with a company that I help with their online presence. Fantastic article! I’m looking over Pitch Engine right now.

    • You are most welcome! Pitch Engine is wonderful. Some people still use PRWeb or the wire services for their press, but I have found Pitch Engine to be a great way to incorporate videos, audio and other media links within a press release. LinkedIn is another place where you can build a company page, WordPress blogs are helpful, create a Squidoo page, Twitter about the release, (obviously) and also make a Google profile with links and you/your client’s social media IDs – these are all free things you can do right now.

  2. Definitely agree. Especially for twitter, the google juice is enough alone. The latest changes they’ve made to their permalinks puts it right under my blog in the search results. Facebook pages are getting good rankings too.

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