PR On a Budget

I know a lot of business owners who talk about doing more PR (public relations) but don’t have the money (or don’t wish to allocate the money) to hire a PR firm. The key to engaging journalists – both freelance and dedicated – is to give them an interesting slant or to tie what you have into current topics or issues. It’s difficult to do this and still handle all the other responsibilities you and your staff, especially your sales and marketing staff, already have. Hence, it’s then difficult for the team to come up with topics that somehow pertain to the business that may be of interest for others – namely journalists or bloggers – to write about.

To circumnavigate both of these concerns and to keep the PR relatively inexpensive (dare I say cheap), I recommend businesses join For ~$1,000 per year, you can respond to journalist inquiries related to whatever topic your business deals in. Are you a provider of energy drinks, sporting equipment, vitamins and minerals, or medical equipment? You can respond to health and fitness topics. Are you a provider of IT services or administrative services or management consulting? Then you can respond to business inquiries. Do you serve the small business sector? Then respond to inquiries that specifically pertain to small businesses.

When you respond, include a blurb about your company. I’ve used for my business and it works well. I was even quoted on an “Advertisement” story page in Forbes. Once you set up the format, to really save on costs, you can hire a PR intern (in my experience a junior or senior is best) and have him/her respond to the inquiries. (See  myprevious posting on interns.) Just double check their work before submitting!

(And no, I’m not being compensated by! I wish!) This was just another creative tip to help your small business utilize resources optimally.