Many entrepreneurs have told me recently that they want to use PR to build their businesses. But they feel frustrated because they can’t afford a publicist.
The good news is that you don’t need to hire a publicist to build buzz for your new business. Now, be aware that it is going to take time and effort away from your core responsibilities, but you can get some great media attention on your own.
Well, before you write a press release or contact a reporter, you’ll need to develop a story idea and figure out who you are going to call. To help start your research process, here are a few quick questions to answer:
1. Who is your target market?
Discover the media venues that your customers read online and in print, listen to on the radio and watch on television.
What are their most popular choices?
To find out, search for keywords online that relate to your products and services. For example, you may search for “cooking magazines,” “dog grooming periodicals,” “hair stylist blogs,” “realtor radio programs,” etc.
Try some of these search sites (and feel free to add your favorites in the comments section below):
You’ll probably want to begin with some general terms and then narrow your media search to more specific sites pertinent to your target market.
2. Who are you going to contact?
Once you know the venues you want to pursue, you’ll want to track down the writers, producers and/or editors at each who cover your particular “beat” or area of interest.
Read the print and online publications, watch the television shows and listen to the radio programs to find the right people.
This gives you plenty to digest today so check back Thursday for next steps.
In the meantime, think about your PR budget and how much time you have to devote to the appropriate research and pitching process. Building buzz and credibility is essential to business success. And if you need to concentrate on other activities, then it’s time to find a good publicist.