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How to Promote Your Small Business without Paying for a PR Agency

We love working with small businesses, and we’ve been fortunate to work with many of them over the years. But, we certainly understand that small business budgets don’t always have room for an outside PR agency. If you aren’t ready to hire a PR agency for your small business just yet, no need to despair! There are many things you can do on your own to publicize your business.

In honor of National Small Business Week, and in support of the more than 30 million small businesses across America, we bring you some of our most efficient and effective ideas for how to generate meaningful publicity for your own small business.

Introduce Yourself to Reporters

One of the best ways to promote your small business is by developing relationships with reporters. If a reporter doesn’t know about you, they can’t write about you – right?

Craft a friendly, informative email to introduce yourself and your business to members of the media who might be interested in your business and your areas of expertise. Keep your email brief, including only the most important or interesting information, and offer a few examples of topics you could speak to in an interview.

If your business is location-specific in any way, be sure to reach out to local media contacts. Local reporters are always happy to learn about new businesses or businesspeople in their coverage area, and it can be easier to secure coverage of your business in a local publication than in a national one.

Seek out Speaking Opportunities

Increase your visibility – and that of your business – by seeking out speaking opportunities. You can apply to speak at industry conferences and events, but also consider reaching out to individual organizations that might be interested in hosting you for a lunch talk or as a part of a speaker series.

Sign up for HARO

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free email service that shares inquiries from reporters with potentially interested sources. Sign up to receive HARO emails and respond to any inquiries that are a match for your business or areas of expertise.

Make Company Announcements with a Press Release

When your business has something to announce – a new product or service offering, a personnel change in the C-suite, or a new partnership with another organization, for example – write a formal press release to share the news. Send your press release to any media contacts you think might be interested, post it to a ‘News’ section on your website, and share it on social media, your company newsletter, and any other platforms you maintain.

Promote Yourself as an Industry Expert

Promoting a business leader as an industry expert is a tactic used often by PR professionals. By positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, you’ll generate both interest in and credibility for your business.

Look for opportunities to contribute opinion pieces to newspapers or industry trade publications. Seek out speaking engagements at important industry conferences. Create useful content that you can share with existing and prospective customers. Each of these activities will help you build a reputation as an industry thought leader and will help drive business your way.

Amplify Your PR Wins

Each time you have a PR win, share it broadly with your audiences. Include media coverage, news announcements, and speaking engagements in marketing materials, your company newsletter, on your social media platforms, and anywhere else you communicate with existing and prospective customers.

Media coverage, speaking engagements, and other PR activities lend your business a unique type of credibility; they let others know that a third party (a media outlet, speaking organization, etc.) has deemed your business interesting enough to devote time or space to it. For this reason, it benefits you to get as many eyes as possible on your PR wins.

If you’d like more tips about how to promote your business in-house, check out our blog and DIY PR Hub for additional resources!


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