Building a solid network of media contacts and other advantageous parties creates long term opportunities to foster brand awareness without opening your wallet.
Quality PR doesn’t always have to break the bank. In fact, if you take the time to strategize, you can create buzz around your brand for little to no money. Whether you’re a brand new startup operation, a small business, or just looking to cut some extra expenses, there are several do-it-yourself activities that can give your brand a boost.
Publish Byline Articles
Establishing yourself as an expert is a surefire strategy for drawing attention to your brand. Just like a doctor or a lawyer, you need to prove that you have the qualifications to be considered an expert. An easy way to transform yourself into an industry thought leader and lend credibility to both yourself and your brand is through byline articles.
At its core, a byline article is an opportunity for you to write about a topic related to your expertise or industry.
Topics might include:
- Commentary on an industry trend
- Predictions for the future of the industry
- An applicable “How-To” or collection of expert tips to solve a problem
There are plenty of outlets to place byline articles, from business publications to blogs. Not only do you get to see your name in print, but the opportunity can help educate prospective customers, generate leads, and also improve your website’s SEO ranking through quality links.
And the best part? There is no cost to submit byline articles. If you can invest time in developing compelling content, it will help build your personal and business brand.
Get Comfortable Using Social Media
You’ve heard this a hundred times but I bet you’re probably not taking full advantage of social media (tweeting once a month doesn’t count). Social platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Facebook present perfect opportunities to get your brand in front of a global audience, including customers, investors, influencers, and reporters. When used with purpose, social media is a powerful and budget-friendly PR tool.
If you know you should be posting but don’t know exactly what to post, try these tips:
- Curate content – post third-party content relating to your industry to present yourself as a legitimate resource
- Use hashtags – do research about the most popular hashtags being used by your contemporaries and favorite media outlets and incorporate them into your posts to make sure your content lands in front of the appropriate audience
- Post about yourself – inform your followers about your recent accomplishments, events, and partnerships, etc. (but remember: there’s a fine line between informing and bragging)
Sometimes the simplest approach can be the most effective (and the cheapest). A very straightforward way to make waves is to get out there and talk to actual people about your brand via email, phone, or even in-person if the situation warrants it. Keeping in touch with important media contacts, sharing their articles on social media and commenting are fast, easy, and effective ways to connect.
If you want reporters to take you seriously, make sure you:
- Do your research – find the reporters who actually cover your industry (do not under any circumstances email the entire editorial staff unless you’re trying to make enemies)
- Keep it two-way – reporters know what you want but they have their own responsibility to create compelling stories so become a genuine resource for them
- Exercise patience – reporters have their own deadlines and may not respond right away; following up is fine but sending ten emails is a huge turn-off (aka straight to spam)