Public relations is such a broad term – it means different things to each of us, depending on our business needs. In today’s competitive market, PR can best be described as supportive activities that help boost your visibility with target audiences and contribute to a positive impact your company’s bottom line.
Frequently, companies (especially startups) know they need PR with a good plan but don’t have much budget to support it. With that in mind, here are four potentially overlooked and inexpensive PR-related activities that might work for you:
The power of the business card. Some experts question whether or not a business card is still relevant in today’s business world. We’ve found that the business card might be old school, but it’s still a great, inexpensive way of getting the word out about your company and your digital channels.
I get comments on how cool people think my cards are most of the time because my wife creates awesome designs for the cards and we always get interesting Moo cards. People keep cards that have a great design, different look, thickness and text telling them why they should care about what you’re offering. I could do a two hour marketing course just on how to create compelling cards.
If you’re active on LinkedIn (and you should be), your card can direct a new contact to your page for an deeper look at who you are. If you’re building a Twitter following, your card should include your handle (i.e., @BrettGreene). Make your business card a directory for how to reach you and your digital content ,and it’s still an economical way to promote your company.
Get media coverage…for free. There is a free service where you can respond directly to reporters writing about your industry. Help A Reporter Out (HARO) publishes a list of editorial queries several times a day via email, and writers from every publication from the New York Times to blog site Cup ‘o Joe use it to find news sources. Get quoted in a national news story and see how that affects traffic to your website! You can get more tips on this from our partners Voxus PR and BusinessWire.
Get social. Using social media is free – take advantage of it. For business purposes, LinkedIn and Twitter are probably the two best avenues, but don’t rule out Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram if your product/service is consumer-oriented. LinkedIn offers numerous ways to grow your network through special interest groups and opportunities to publish content.
Start by adding LinkedIn Sales Navigator to your email client (if you use a Chrome browser and Gmail) and use it to connect with every single new person who lands in your email box. It’s quick, easy and the main way I built my LinkedIn connections to 24,000+ over the past 15 years.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you need business leads, let your network know that you’d like to be referred to their associates. A referral is gold — who wouldn’t rather work with someone a friend trusts?
Content is king. Got something interesting to say? Create a dynamic piece of content that is designed to drive sales leads, boost your credibility with investors, spark a conversation with your audience and more. The main types of content are blogs, articles, long form writing, ebooks, case studies, white papers, infographics, template downloads, video and podcasts. It’s not that difficult, but you need to choose a subject that is timely, unique or interesting.
The secret to creating content is to create 5 pieces of content from every effort that can be distributed to multiple audiences. For example – 1) give a talk, 2) video it, 3) have the audio recorded into a file that can be streamed, 4) transcribe the audio into an ebook and 5) articles.
If you can easily manipulate your website, you can publish your content on a blog and drive readership through social media. Better yet, write something compelling, put it on your website behind a gated landing page (where you can ask people to leave their email addresses before downloading your content) and use the information as potential sales leads.
There you have it – four ways to use PR tactics to your advantage without breaking the bank. Got a tip to share? Let us know!