Image: Flickr/kpmarek

With revenue down and marketing budgets tight, there’s never been a better time to generate some free publicity for your business. So, put your Public Relations hat on and get started promoting your products and services. Here are some tips and PR “best practices” to help get you started.

Share the news
The key to gaining exposure in the media is to share information about your company, products and services.  Don’t wait for the news release on your website to be discovered. You need to proactively reach out to media contacts with news and information about your business. This can be accomplished through the distribution of formal news releases, or with a simple phone call, email or “What I’m working on” post on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Be relevant
Relevancy will help you obtain media coverage. The more you can tie your activities to a major news story or emerging issue, the greater your opportunity for coverage. For example, in the Fall of 2007, I was able to generate incredible coverage for one client by tapping in to the media buzz surrounding the lead paint tainted toy crisis. My client was a gourmet grocery store, which may initially seem like an unlikely match given the nature of the crisis. But, by helping them host an event to provide free lead testing as a community service for concerned parents, I got them several pre-event interviews, as well as event coverage by three television stations, two newspapers and a local radio station, as well.  Not only did the event create a huge amount of media coverage, both pre and post-event, it also drove consumer traffic to their store and website.

Communicate and repeat
In any marketing activity, repetition is critical for success. Your submission may not get picked-up the first time, but don’t let that dissuade you. Keep trying. If they didn’t think your submission was interesting one day, they may on another. Circumstances change and so do attitudes in newsrooms. Keep sharing your updates. Eventually, your story will gain coverage.

Think big
Your story may or may not merit national television coverage, or a guest appearance on Oprah, but you need to allow the networks and producers to make that call. One thing is certain, you will never receive major media coverage if they don’t know about you. Spread your message far and wide.

Adhere to these PR “best practices” and you will generate substantial coverage for your business. I’m looking forward to reading about you in the news!

Tanya C. Bamford is the President of TCB Marketing LLC–a Marketing Services firm based in suburban Philadelphia, PA. Follow Tanya’s posts on Twitter @TCBMarketing.

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Seth Goldstein is the Principal Creative Director at Goldstein Media LLC. He has been in the Web design and Internet marketing business for more than 10 years. A self-proclaimed technologist, Seth is addicted to all types of technology. He loves to help businesses of all sizes figure out the best way to use the Internet to grow their business.

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