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Reader Q&A: How Do I Get Free Publicity? 29 January 2008

Question:

“Do you have any tips on how to get some free public relations and media coverage for a friend’s business. Is there any way one can advertising their business within spending much cash?” 

–– Deville W, of Hampshire

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Answer:

There are a myriad of ways to generate publicity (which is a kind of ‘free’ advertising) without spending much cash. But advertising or promoting your buinsess through a combination of paid and non-paid-for means is key to surviving in the business jungle. 

Also, what works for one company might not work for another. For example, a standard tailor is not of much interest to the press, so a press release probably wouldn’t benefit that type of business as much as it would for, say, a new type of gourmet store. 

You might want to start with publicity – providing the media with news and other information on your friend’s business to get her media coverage. The thing is, when you do not pay for the coverage (‘free’ publicity), you basically have no real control over the timing or content of your publicity. And there’s no guarantee you will get that publicity. 

That said, there is one ‘free’ publicity tool that does the business – the humble press release. 

A properly formatted, professionally written press release will stand a much greater chance of grabbing that media attention for your friend and get her business/name in the newspapers and magazines, as well as on radio and television. As a copywriter, editor and ex-journalist, I write or polish press releases on a regular basis, so I know what works and doesn’t. I’m currently writing a report on this and will let you know when it will be ready. 

A low-cost, highly effective option is postcard marketing. It’s a really great way of getting and keeping your name in front of your prospect list or target audience. I covered this in the first issue of Communiqué for Success! 

Another method is for your friend to form alliances with other entrepreneurs in his or her area. It doesn’t have to be a big network, a group of three can easily work. The point is for each person to agree to refer newspaper reporters to each other whenever they get approached about a topic on which you all could comment. 

Finally, online networking sites such as Ecademy and LinkedIn can be great promotion platforms. And they’re a fantastic way of searching for contacts. 

It all boils down to acting upon opportunities, effective communication, and building relationships and trust. 

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2 Responses to “Reader Q&A: How Do I Get Free Publicity?”

  1. postcard marketing is great in promoting your business. It is cost effective and and can be easily produced. You just have to make your message and design attractive to get the attention of your prospects.

  2. Hi

    Thanks for stopping by and your useful comments. Much appreciated.

    It’s also really important to really get inside your audience’s mind and ask them a question that makes them say ‘yes’. It doesn’t have to be a direct question, but it should definitely ‘speak’ to their core desires, wants, etc.

    Of course, you have to build trust and credibility to market well, and that involves building a relationship with your prospects.

    Of course, there is a LOT one can do to ensure your marketing spend isn’t wasted on a pretty postcard that fails to bring in the desired results. You’ve mentioned some good ones above, more can be found at my blog and my newsletter, Communique for Success and my ‘Postcard Marketing’ step by step system .

    Hope this helps!

    Take care…

    TRACEY DOOLEY
    Creative Consultant | PR Doctor | Marketing & Alliance Strategist
    Business Development & Writing | Editorial Expertise | Marketing Solutions
    ——————-
    http://www.mediaminister.co.uk

    NB: Please note my NEW blog address (I haven’t posted to this one for quite some time now):


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