This article originally appeared on the Women On Business,a blog on Forbes.com list of the Top 100 Websites for Women
Public relations is not something that comes easy. It takes a lot of time, relationship building, and hard work. However, if your budget doesn’t allow you to hire a professional, there are a few simple things every business owner can do to build up their reputation through PR without much effort.
1. Build up Your Network
Yes, I know it sounds easy enough, but so many miss the mark on this. I’ve had clients think they can send an email to an influencer or media professional without any type of relationship and instantly get press coverage. Yes, a great story can always pull in the right people, but your company may not have just discovered a cure for cancer.
So how do you build these relationships? Attend high profile events where press and influencers are. It may cost you a pretty penny for a ticket, but once you’re there and you take the opportunity to network, the dollars you spent will come back to you.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Hear No
As I always say, you will get 99 “no’s” before you get one “yes”. It’s a game that takes a lot of time. Keep in mind, the people you are trying to connect with, everyone is trying to connect with. They can’t say yes to everyone.
3. Be Different
If you’re trying to pitch a client closing a loan with you, don’t expect anyone to even give it a second look. However, if your company just opened the first ever dog water park, there will be interest. Why? Because it’s new and exciting.
4. Target the Right Publication
If you just opened a dog water park, don’t pitch Rolling Stone Magazine. They don’t care. There are many publications out there specific to your business or product. I have literally seen a publication targeted to gamers who cook. There is something out there for you.
5. News Wires are not Right for Everyone
First, news wires can cost you a lot of money. If you’re not pitching big news like announcing your IPO, it may not be worth the money. If you have the right contacts and/or it’s small news, target the publications yourself. It may be slightly more time consuming, but you’ll probably get better response.
6. Blogs are a Great Resource
Don’t forget you’re reading this blog right now. You don’t always have to think New York Times.
In the end, a professional will always get more for you. However, we’re not always in a place where staff is an option and we need to find a way to do it ourselves. Just make sure whatever you’re doing you are using your time wisely.