Media attention can get businesses in front of more customers and ultimately boost sales. However, a retainer with a PR firm can start anywhere from $10k a month. Hardly pocket change to a small business owner. Fortunately, there are lots of creative strategies that you can undertake on a shoestring budget to generate media interest for your business.
PR for Your Business on a Shoestring Budget
Tell a good story
Storytelling is at the heart of every great PR campaign. A good story will resonate with your audience. Perhaps provide a unique insight into how you started the business or any setbacks you faced. Personalize the message and let it speak from the heart.
For example, the founders of Innocent Drinks, a UK brand, started off selling smoothies at a music festival. They set up two boxes asking customers to vote with their empty bottles on if they should leave their corporate jobs and start selling the smoothies full time. By the end of the festival, the ‘yes’ box was full, so they quit their jobs the next day. This unique personal story is not only memorable, but it shows the brand valued their customers from the beginning.
It’s marketing 101 but so many companies get this simple strategy wrong, choosing instead to focus solely on the hard sell. No one likes a pushy salesperson. Facts tell, but stories sell after all.
Success in public relations is dependent on your ability to form relationships with reporters and influencers. Nothing beats having someone with a large online following endorse your brand to their followers. Focus on building relationships with reporters over time, through sharing their work, pitching ideas aligned to their interests and providing content for stories they typically cover. Give without expectation and avoid heavy self promotion. After providing value over a period of time, reporters will likely begin to approach you when working on a story.
Perfect your pitch
Reporters receive tons of pitches a day. To increase the chance of your story being covered take the time to research the reporter’s beat. What recent stories have they written that you can tie in with your pitch? Are there any industry trends that the reporter should know about? Include these nuggets in your pitch to help position yourself as someone in the know.
Promote a consistent brand
Ensure your online and offline presence conveys a consistent message. I’m always surprised when after exchanging business cards with someone, I log onto to their website to find outdated information or broken web links. These simple oversights are damaging to your brand and may be costing you a sale.
Finally, it’s important to remember that a successful PR strategy takes time to implement. However, with consistent effort these strategies can generate invaluable media attention for your business without denting the PR budget.