Melanie Rembrandt

Since our initial launch date, Melanie Rembrandt has been an integral part of the StartupNation team.

As the founder of Rembrandt Communications®, LLC,, Melanie is one of the country's top, public-relations consultants, an SEO copywriter and a published writer with over 20 years of extensive experience and an excellent track-record for success.

She specializes in helping entrepreneurs get the attention and credibility they need via targeted public-relations and SEO copywriting efforts (including Web site copy that sells, newsletters, eReports, social media, blogs, SEO press releases, e-mail auto responders, direct marketing, and more!).

Melanie offers tips and insights via her blogs and monthly newsletter, "Rembrandt Writes Insights®." And she provides in-depth training presentations to various businesses and organizations nationwide.

Melanie is also the author of "Secrets of Becoming a Publicist," published by American Writers & Artists, Inc., "Simple Publicity," published by 1WinPress, StartupNation's "7 Steps to Successful Public Relations," and the host of the SmallBiz America Radio Channel, "PR and SEO Quick Tips with Melanie Rembrandt."

A magna cum laude graduate of the prestigious UCLA School of Theater,Film and Television, Melanie is the official small-business PR expert for StartupNation and Pink Magazine Online. She’s open to your questions, comments and suggestions at and @rembrandtwrites on Twitter.

And you can also sign-up to receive her e-newsletter and reports packed with great information at:

Latest posts by Melanie Rembrandt (see all)

If you are a new entrepreneur, one of the best ways to start building buzz is by contacting local media-members.

This way, you can practice your pitching skills with a smaller venue and begin creating media relationships to help your business grow.

But how do you start your publicity efforts?

1.      Research.

First, you want to read the local publications and figure out who writes about your industry or “beat.” Check out the archived stories online and also look for appropriate contact information.

If you don’t see a particular writer or reporter who covers your particular area of expertise, contact the managing editor or assignment editor. These editors are usually in charge of assigning stories to various reporters. 

2.      Practice.

What are you going to say?

Well, you could just pick up the phone and introduce yourself!

Tell the editor your area of expertise and the value you can provide as a resource to that publication.

You can also pitch a story pertinent to the publication’s audience. But with both of these methods, it’s essential to: 

Offer valuable information that relates to the local community.

After all, that’s what the local publication is all about and what the editor wants to hear!

For example, you can talk about how a national story or trend relates to your business and the local community, provide a case study about one of your local customers or offer an original opinion-piece or article pertinent to the publication’s editorial calendar. 

3. Follow-Up.

After you introduce yourself to the appropriate media contact, follow up with an e-mail or snail-mail letter. You want to remind them what you have to offer their audience.  

Remember to focus on their needs and how you can provide value.

And after your initial contact, you want to keep in touch with your new media contact. On a monthly basis, send a note about a recent article in the publication, provide information about an upcoming community event or ask how you can help.

Most local media venues are tight on staff and cash so they will appreciate your efforts.

Get Results.

By starting with these simple activities, you may end up with an immediate interview or a writing assignment. If not, at least you will build a strong, working relationship with the local press so they know who you are and what you have to offer.

Then, when it’s deadline time, and they need an expert resource for an upcoming story, you’ll be at the top of their list.

And if you are a new business owner, this process can teach you how to talk to the media at a low risk-level. After all, if you mess up your pitch with a small, local publication, you can learn from your mistakes and avoid them when you move on to bigger, national media venues.

With this in mind, try contacting your local media venue within the next week. It won’t cost you anything but time. Plus, you’ll increase your pitching skills.

And who knows?

You may end up with a media clip that builds buzz about your products and services, a new working relationship with the local press and third-party credibility you simply can’t buy!

Have questions about boosting sales, awareness and credibility with search engine optimization copywriting, social media strategy and public relations? Check out my new book, “Simple Publicity,” or contact me here or at

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